Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Removing All File Properties.

Removing All File Properties

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 19, 2012)

Word allows you to maintain a fair number of properties associated with a document. You can see these properties by choosing Properties from the File menu. 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.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1377) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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. ...

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