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  1. #1
    jrfergusonuss
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    Cleaning Word Files

    Nice Forum for posting my Office questions!

    Word users at my company want to clean out metadata and tracked edits before they send the files out of the company. I've been recommending the old *copy/paste* into a new file method, but they have heard that doesn't truly clean up the file. So I also tell them to use RTF or TXT format.

    Any other method that I'm not aware of? any issues with the cut/paste method?

    Is there a way to Control a Word file once it is sent? other than putting a password on it? I also have recommended Adobe Acrobat for control documents--those that should NEVER be changed by the reader. I don't like passwords since they can be forgotten after the originator leaves the company.

    suggestions welcome!

  2. #2
    KTYorke
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files

    I'll leave the suggestions about cleaning the word files to a more technical lounger than myself...

    However, I've dealt with a lot of users who want to keep their baby[img]/w3timages/icons/baby.gif[/img] safe from outside editors...including myself. The most effective way I've seen is the use of Adobe Acrobat.

    -It is easy to use, a user can save a document directly to PDF file from Word without having to open another program.
    -Anyone with Adobe Reader can view the file...and if they don't have it, it's free to download at http://www.adobe.com
    -For large documents, say User Manuals, it allows you to merge multiple files into one PDF file for easier viewing.
    -It doesn't blow the document up to double it's size.
    -Best of all, the reader can't mess with it [img]/w3timages/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    (no, I don't work for Adobe...but I use mine regularly [img]/w3timages/icons/love.gif[/img])

    hope this helps!
    have fun

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files

    I second all of the above.
    Better still (as far as I am concerned) you can make a single document from .pdf's created from different applications (i.e tech drawings) without the headache of inserting them into word.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files

    If my memory serves me correctly (always an issue), Woody had some articles in WOW by Bob Blackburn (may have the last name wrong) on handling metadata & privacy. I'd say there were in the last 6 months. You could do a search of his back issues for "Word of Law".

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    gotorp
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    SOLUTION to Cleaning Word Files

    I have a great and FREE solution for you!
    PAYNE CONSULTING (in Seattle, WA) has a free download called Metadata Assistant on their website. This information was on the front page of the NY Times about a month ago. Please check it out!!! http:www.payneconsulting.com[img]/w3timages/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: SOLUTION to Cleaning Word Files

    Thanks for the suggestion, "gotorp". Looks a great little utility.

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files

    I agree with all that's been said, but in addition to Acrobat's good features, using a password is far from fool-proof. PW in Office are a joke, and easily decoded.
    Karen

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files

    There is a free alternative to having Adobe Acrobat.

    It's called eFax messenger and can be downloaded at http://www.efax.com/need/

    It installs a printer driver, so from word you simply print to efax and it creates an electronic file that looks to the recipient like a fax and prints precisely as it looked in word.

    The file can be saved either as an efx file or as an EXE file that contains the view.

    very handy. I use it often even though I have adobe acrobat.

  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files

    ...and from the perspective of the recipient of a PDF, instead of a DOC . . .

    . . . NO MACRO VIRUSES!

    Unless it is a co-edited project, I always send PDF instead of DOC.

    Being as this thread started by discussing metadata security issues, be aware that those exist in Acrobat, also. Some examples include
    Cropped pages can be uncropped
    text that has been redacted by a covering anotation can be seen on a slow computer loading the page
    the PDFMaker macro that comes with acrobat is pretty effective at copying word metatdata into its own document information repository

  10. #10
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files

    A good _overview_ can be found in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/ar...s/Q223/7/90.ASP

    PS: It probably took them longer to compile this article than it would have taken to make an add-in (which then could be hailed as a major improvement)

  11. #11
    jrfergusonuss
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    Re: Cleaning Word Files: my thanks!

    Great place to post my Office issues. Thanks for both suggested utilities and programs as well as making me happy to have adobe acrobat on hand. The user who asked me this question is trying a couple of your suggestions and will probably be posting in the future as well. I've advertised this forum at my company.

    All of you know alot more about Office than I do!

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