Clean up a document

As you work on a Word document, information gets saved in the document that you do not see when you look at the document on screen. For example, annotations, comments, and revisions may not be visible if you have filtered your view of markup. The file also contains the names of all authors and editors.

While this information is not visible, it can be accessed with certain tools. Therefore, you may want to clean the document of such information, particularly if you are sending it to a customer, vendor, or other external party.

Before you finalize a document and send it to its intended recipient, it's important that you clean up the document to remove revisions, versions, and hidden information.

The following steps will help you remove a significant amount of the information that is hidden within a Word document. Depending on your goals and business requirements, you may not need to perform all of these actions. For example, you may not need to remove personal information from file properties. On the other hand, you may require even deeper "cleansing" of the document.

First, remove revisions.

  1. Turn off Track Changes. If Track Changes is on, click the Track Changes button on the Reviewing toolbar. Track Changes button
  2. Accept or reject all revisions using the Accept and Reject buttons on the Reviewing toolbar.
  3. Delete all comments. Click the drop-down arrow on the Reject button and choose Delete All Comments in Document. Accept and Reject buttons
  4. Delete all ink annotations made by users making revisions using tablet PCs. Click the drop-down arrow on the Reject button and choose Delete All Ink Annotations in Document.

Next, delete any versions saved within the document.

  1. Choose File → Versions.
  2. Select each version in the Existing Versions list and click Delete.
  3. Ensure that the Automatically save a version on close checkbox is cleared.

Now you are ready to save the document. Use the Save As command so that you can access security options.

  1. Choose File ? Save As.
  2. Optionally, modify the location, name, or file type for the document.
  3. Click the Tools button and choose Security Options.

    You can also access these options prior to saving by choosing Tools ? Options and clicking the Security tab.

    Options dialog box - Security tab

  4. Select the option, Remove personal information from file properties on save.

    This will remove the names of authors and editors which are hidden in the document. It will also remove your name from the Author property for the file.

  5. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.
  6. Click Save.
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