Tip: Remove Personal and Confidential Information from Office 2010 Files

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As a best practice, you should make sure no sensitive data is accidentally left hidden in a file (or the file properties) when you are ready to share a file publicly, with clients, or even with colleagues. This is a pretty easy task in Microsoft Office 2010, thanks to the Backstage View, which allows you to manage files and perform critical tasks to protect your data and private information.

Here’s an example of what you need to do in Word 2010.

With a file open, select the File menu choice on the Ribbon. When the Info option on the left is selected, the workspace will display various information about the file, as shown in the following screenshot.


Notice in the center of the workspace the section labeled Prepare for Sharing. When you access the Backstage View, Word 2010 analyzes the document and updates this information dynamically to warn you of any potential issues with the file. These issues can include data vulnerabilities (such as stored document properties that you may not want to share), as well as other potential sharing issues (such as problems with accessibility for people with disabilities).

Click the Check for Issues button and select Inspect Document.


The Document Inspector will open, allowing you to select what types of data you want to search for. Make your selections and click Inspect.


The results are then returned, organized by type. Each type of content has its own Remove All button. This allows you to remove all Document Properties and Personal Information, for instance, while keeping the Custom XML Data.


Click the Remove All button beside any types of data you want to remove and the Document Inspector will update to tell you the data has been removed successfully. Note the change in status for Document Properties and Personal Information in the following screenshot.


Once you’ve removed the data, be sure to Save the file so your changes all take effect.

Tip by Matthew Graven, TechNet Tips Editor.

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