Inspect and Discard Confidential or Hidden Data of MS-Word Documents

There are certain values either atomically added by Word, or created by you which you might not wish to share with anybody else. Such hidden information can reveal details about your own identity, details of your organization and you may not want to publicize such information.

You can discard all such data by using a very simple utility in Word 2007 known as the “Document Inspector”. The “Document Inspector” inspects for the following document properties:

  • Comments, Revisions, Versions, and Annotations: These include revision and comparison marks resultant from track changes options, apart from the general comment and version histories of the current document.
  • Document Properties and Personal Information: These include all the information from the “Summary”, “Statistics”, and “Custom” tabs from the Document Properties.
  • Custom XML Data
  • Headers and Footers & Watermarks
  • Hidden Text: This includes only the text which have been given the “hidden” effect from the “Font” dialogue, and not those which have the same color as their back ground (white text on white background).

inspect and discard confidential data

  • To inspect your document, carry out the following steps:
    Save your document.
  • Click on the “Office Button”.
  • Click “Prepare” and a list of options appear in the adjacent pane.
  • Click “Inspect Documents”.
  • NOTE: If your document has not been saved, a message box is displayed, it will ask you to save the file.
    Click “Yes” to proceed.
  • Click “Inspect”.

If any data of the above mentioned category exists, you have an option to delete it.

  • Click “Remove” to discard data in the selected categories.
  • Click on “Reinspect” to scan the document once again.
  • Click on “Cancel” to return to the document.

NOTE: It is advisable to take a back-up of the file before inspection as you cannot undo some changes made by the “Document Inspector”.


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