Preventing the Loss of Personal Information

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 30, 2013)

The attorneys at Patty's law firm use Word's Track Changes as a collaboration tool and they especially like seeing different author revisions represented in different colors and by name. The firm has had a problem that has cropped up lately where an attorney sends out a document to a client, looking for them to make revisions, but when the document returns all changes are in one color identified by "Author." In tracking this down, Patty believes that the problem happens because the person on the other side makes changes and saves with the "Remove Personal Information On Save" setting turned on. She wonders if there is a way (perhaps with a macro) that they can prevent this setting from being turned on so they can see who makes changes in the documents sent out to clients.

The easiest way to handle this (as Patty suspected) is to use a macro. The macro can be set up so that it runs whenever the document is opened. (All you need to do is store the macro within the ThisDocument object.) The macro needs to set only a single setting:

Private Sub Document_Open()
    With ActiveDocument
        .RemovePersonalInformation = False
    End With
End Sub

Now, there are a couple of caveats related to the efficacy of using a macro to set this setting. First, you need to understand that if the user doesn't enable macros when opening the document, then this macro will never run. Second, the macro runs when the document opens, which means that the setting could be explicitly changed by the user once the document is open.

Perhaps a better solution to the problem would fall in the area of user education: You could create an instruction sheet that is provided to the client, along with the document, instructing the client on how to correctly make changes to the document. This sheet could instruct the client not to change the "Remove Personal Information On Save" setting, along with other things you want done during the document review.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3799) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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