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: Blocking the First Sentence from File Info.

Blocking the First Sentence from File Info

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 21, 2013)

Suppose you want to type a Word document and save it, password protected. Suppose further that you intended the first sentence to capture the intended reader's attention, but you didn't want the entire world to read it.

You chose "Save As" so that you could use the Tools dropdown and the Security Options to set a password. You notice that most of your inflammatory first sentence has been placed into the filename field by default as Word always does, so you highlight the incriminating phrase and gave your document a new, innocuous name. You save it to the desktop.

Now minimize all windows and go to the desktop. Hover the mouse pointer over the icon for your new file. Up pops a window that shows the type, author and size, and, for good measure, right there in plain text for the world to see, most of the first sentence of your document—no password required!

What you are actually seeing when you hover the mouse over the icon is the document's title. This title is displayed automatically, unless you have an older version of Windows that doesn't display information balloons about files. While you can hack the Windows registry to turn off the balloons, it is easier to just get rid of the title within Word. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your document.
  2. Choose Properties from the File menu. Word displays the Properties dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Summary tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Summary tab of the Properties dialog box.

  5. Clear anything that is in the Title field, or replace the field contents with text you want displayed when the mouse is hovered over the document icon.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Save your document.

The Title property is set automatically when you first save a document. Word puts the initial document text (up to the first punctuation mark) in the Title property, and uses the same text as a suggested file name. Changing the file name when you save the document does not result in the Title property being changed; you must do is separately, as described above.

So that you don't forget to change the Title property when first saving a document, it is a good idea to configure Word to prompt you for the properties. Here are the steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Save tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Save tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Ensure the Prompt for Document Properties check box is selected.
  5. Click OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3911) 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: Blocking the First Sentence from File Info.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles

Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for any ...

Discover More

Saving Changes in the Personal Workbook

The Personal workbook is a special place used to store information and macros that you can access from all the other ...

Discover More

Displaying the Start Menu Using the Keyboard

Need to get to the Start menu, but hate taking your hands off the keyboard? Here are two quick ways you can display the Start ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Read-Only Documents

Using both Word and Windows, there are a variety of ways you can mark a file as read-only so that it cannot be changed. This ...

Discover More

Determining If the End of a Text File Has Been Reached

When writing a macro that processes a text file, you may need to know when the end of the file has been reached. This is easy ...

Discover More

Full Path Names in Word

An easy way to display the document's full path name in the title bar.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.