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This article refers to how Students should remove all metadata (personal Information held within a Word file) pre-submission for certain assignment activities.

In the interest of ensuring that your file is as anonymous as it can be for when there is certain activities around marking your file - it is essential to use the Document Inspector component within Word before submitting a file

In Word, the Document Inspector displays several different Inspectors that enable you to find and remove hidden data and personal information that is specific to Word documents.

This article contains:

  • Types of hidden data and personal information
  • Step-by-step guide to using Document Inspector in Word

Types of hidden data and personal information

Several types of hidden data and personal information can be saved in a Word document. This information might not be immediately visible when you view the document in Word, but it might be possible for other people to view or retrieve the information.

Hidden information can include the data that Word adds to a document to enable you to collaborate on writing and editing it with other people. It can also include information that you deliberately designate as hidden.

Word documents can contain the following types of hidden data and personal information:

  • Comments, revision marks from tracked changes, versions, and ink annotations     If you collaborated with other people to create your document, your document might contain items such as revision marks from tracked changes, comments, ink annotations, or versions. This information can enable other people to see the names of people who worked on your document, comments from reviewers, and changes that were made to your document
  • Document properties and personal information     Document properties, also known as metadata (metadata: Data that describes other data. For example, the words in a document are data; the word count is an example of metadata.), include details about your document such as author, subject, and title. Document properties also include information that is automatically maintained by Office programs, such as the name of the person who most recently saved a document and the date when a document was created
  • Headers, footers, and watermarks     Word documents can contain information in headers and footers. Additionally, you might have added a watermark to your Word document
  • Hidden text     Word documents can contain text that is formatted as hidden text. If you do not know whether your document contains hidden text, you can use the Document Inspector to search for it
  • Document server properties     If your document was saved to a location on a document management server, such as a Document Workspace site or a library based on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, the document might contain additional document properties or information related to this server location
  • Custom XML data     Documents can contain custom XML data that is not visible in the document itself. The Document Inspector can find and remove this XML data.

Step-by-Step Guide to Document Inspector in Word

You can use the Document Inspector to find and remove hidden data and personal information in Word documents. It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector before you share an electronic copy of your Word document for an Assignment activity with your Class page.

  1. Open the Word document that you want to inspect for hidden data and personal information
  2. Click the File tab, click Save As, and then type a name in the File name box to save a copy of your original document

Note:   It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector on a copy of your original document, because it is not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  1. In the copy of your original document, click the File tab, and then click Info
  2. Under Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then click Inspect Document
  3. In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the check boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected
  4. Click Inspect
  5. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box
  6. Click Remove All next to the inspection results for the types of hidden content that you want to remove from your document
  7. Submit document to MyPlace

 Note:   

  • If you remove hidden content from your document, you might not be able to restore it by clicking Undo
  • If you want to remove hidden data and personal information from documents you save in the OpenDocument Text (.odt) format, you must run the Document Inspector every time that you save the document in this format