Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Removing All File Properties.

Removing All File Properties

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 11, 2019)

Word allows you to maintain a fair number of properties associated with a document. These properties vary from document to document. Some of them are set automatically by Word, and others can be set manually by you.

Using a macro, you can clear all the boxes on the Summary tab of the Properties dialog box. The following macro tries to access all the built-in document properties, resetting them so that they contain nothing. If a non-writable document property is accessed (for example, the time the document was last printed), then an error is generated and the macro resumes on the very next property.

Sub CleanProp()
    Dim oProp As DocumentProperty
    On Error Resume Next
    For Each oProp In ActiveDocument.BuiltInDocumentProperties
        oProp.Value = ""
    Next oProp
End Sub

There are also commercial metadata cleaners available on the market. These clean not only the information stored in the document properties, but also other identifying data that you might not want distributed with a document. Examples of these types of programs are Metadata Assistant (Payne Consulting Group) and Workshare Protect (WorkShare). You can use your favorite search engine to search for information on these and other cleaners.

Another approach to removing hidden or other identifying data from the document properties is to use the Document Inspector feature found in multiple Microsoft Office products. The following article gives more details on how Document Inspector can be used for this purpose:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/remove-hidden-data-and-personal-information-by-inspecting-documents-presentations-or-workbooks-356b7b5d-77af-44fe-a07f-9aa4d085966f

Note that the URL is quite long; you'll want to make sure you include it all in your browser.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11737) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Removing All File Properties.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Underlines

Part of the formatting you can add to your text is underlining. That simple word (underlining) represents quite a few ...

Discover More

Deleting Everything Up to a Character Sequence

Sometimes you have too much information in a cell and you need to "pare down" what is there to get to the info you really ...

Discover More

Changing the Program that Opens a File

If you have multiple versions of the same program on your system, Windows can become confused as to which version it ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Determining If the End of a Text File Has Been Reached

When writing a macro that processes a text file, you may need to know when the end of the file has been reached. This is ...

Discover More

Making Backup Copies

When you save your documents, Word doesn't normally make backups of your files. If you want the program to do that, it ...

Discover More

Copying Custom Properties

You can add custom properties to a document to help with all sorts of file management tasks. If you want to copy these ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.