Remove Hidden Metadata & Elements from Word Documents

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Most documents include information such as Hidden text, Object info, Personal Information (identifying information, author name), and other invisible info stored as metadata.

Word 2010 contains a Document Inspector feature that can inspect the document for concealed elements and remove them. It can find and remove Personnel Information, Comments, Annotations, Meta info, XML data, Hidden text, and similar information.

Open the document that you want to inspect for hidden elements. Click File to bring up Backstage View. Under Prepare for Sharing from Check for Issues options, click Inspect Document.

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This will bring up the Document Inspector dialog, which lists the following options: Comments, Revisions, Version, Document Properties, Personal Info, XML Data, Headers, Footers, Watermarks, Invisible Content, and Hidden Text, etc.

Enable the desired options and click Inspect.

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Document Inspector will scan the document for the specified elements. You can remove elements from the document by clicking Remove All next to each option.

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Remove All will remove all the specified elements from the document.

Now your document is safe, and you can start preparing it for generic distribution.

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LAST UPDATED 9/20/2011