Here’s how you ask Word to forget author context
You may remember some embarrassing news stories in the early 2010’s of large company’s accidentally sharing documents with revision marks and comments still in the document. In response to this liability, in 2014, Microsoft added the Document Inspector feature to it’s big 3 office apps. This tool will automatically strip out all sorts of potentially extraneous content from your documents and is a must-use step for us before documents are shared externally.
1. Open a Word doc, turn on track changes and make some edits
2. Save the document
3. Under File, Info, click the Check for Issues Drop Down
4. Choose to Inspect Document
6. If you choose to remove all comments, revisions and versions, all of your edits will be checked in and accepted. If you do that, you’ll break the experiment and will need to go back and make more edits with track changes.
7. Click Close
Word has now forgotten all Author information. The catch, is Word will now continue to forget all author information. Note that your name is attributed to new changes until you save the document again
But Wait, There’s More!
When you ask Word to remove all document properties and personal info, it takes its job seriously. In addition to stripping the document of any current information, it sneaks into Trust Center and programmatically enables a feature entitled “Remove personal information from file properties on save.” You’ll note that as you’re typing, your edits look like they are being attributed to you. As soon as you save, however, Word will strip out the author context. Overall, this can be a good thing because it continues to protect you and your company. But, what if the document needs another round of editing? Or, what if you want to make some edits and send it back to the source company with those edits intact?