Use the Document Inspector

The Document Inspector gives users an easy way to examine documents for personal or sensitive information, text phrases, and other document contents. For example, before distributing a document, they can use the Document Inspector to remove unwanted information.


Microsoft does not support the automatic removal of hidden information for signed or protected documents, or for documents that use Information Rights Management (IRM). We recommend that you run the Document Inspector before you sign a document or invoke IRM on a document.

As a developer, you can use the Document Inspector framework to extend the built-in modules and integrate your extensions into the standard user interface.

The Document Inspector in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint includes the following enhancements.

Built-in Document Inspector modules

The Document Inspector has modules that help users inspect and fix specific elements of a given document. The Document Inspector includes the following built-in modules.

For all Office documents

  • Embedded documents
  • OLE objects and packages
  • Data models
  • Content apps
  • Task Pane apps
  • Macros and VBA modules
  • Legacy macros (XLM and WordBasic)

For Excel documents

  • PivotTables and slicers
  • PivotCharts
  • Cube formulas
  • Timelines (cache)
  • Custom XML data
  • Comments and annotations
  • Document properties and personal information
  • Headers and footers
  • Hidden rows and columns
  • Hidden worksheets and names
  • Invisible content
  • External links and data functions
  • Excel surveys
  • Custom worksheet properties

For PowerPoint documents

  • Comments and annotations
  • Document properties and personal information
  • Invisible on-slide content
  • Off-slide content
  • Presentation notes

For Word documents

  • Comments, revisions, versions, and annotations
  • Document properties and personal information; this includes metadata, SharePoint properties, custom properties, and other content information
  • Custom XML data
  • Headers, footers, and watermarks
  • Invisible content
  • Hidden text

Open the Document Inspector

To open the Document Inspector:

  1. Choose the File tab, and then choose Info.

  2. Choose Check for Issues.

  3. Choose Inspect Document.

Use the Document Inspector dialog box to select the type or types of data to find in the document.

After the modules complete the inspection, the Document Inspector displays the results for each module in a dialog box. If a given module finds data, the dialog box includes a Remove All button that you can click to remove that data. If the module does not find data, the dialog box displays a message to that effect.

If you choose to remove the data for a given module, the dialog box displays descriptive text that indicates whether the operation was successful or not. If the Document Inspector encounters errors during the operation, the module is flagged, displays an error message, and the data for that module does not change.

Support and feedback

Have questions or feedback about Office VBA or this documentation? Please see Office VBA support and feedback for guidance about the ways you can receive support and provide feedback.