Documents can go through many iterations on their way to becoming a final document. Draft documents may include elements for internal use that you don't want to share with others. Word's Document Inspector quickly checks documents for potential problems. For example, here's a document we've been working on that we are ready to send out for a client to look at. The document looks pretty good, but it has some elements that we might want to be concerned about. So, I'm going to choose File to go Backstage.
We're going to, on the Info tab, Check this document for Issues. I am going to choose Inspect Document to open the Document Inspector dialog box. These are the six types of elements that Word will check for in the Document Inspector. First, it will check to see if there are Comments, Revisions, Versions and Annotations that are still in this document. The document looked good, but maybe there are some hidden comments or revisions. Second, it inspects the Document Properties to see if there is Personal Information that's being saved with the document.
Third, it will check for Custom XML Data. You might think, I don't remember entering any XML. But if you use placeholders in cover pages, headers or footers, they are stored as XML. It will check to see are there Headers, Footers or Watermarks? Is there possibly some content that has been formatted as Invisible, or as Hidden? So, I'm going to Inspect our document. We note that there are three items that are being brought to our attention. First, there are Revision marks in this document.
That's pretty interesting. It looked good a minute ago. There are Document properties that are filled in, including the Author, and there are Headers and Footers that may include shapes such as Watermarks. Now, I could click Remove All and remove these elements. But I'd like first to inspect the document myself to find out what the document Inspector found. There's a reason for that. There is a note at the bottom that says Some changes cannot be undone. There are some times that I will click Remove All, and I'll go, I wonder what that was I just removed.
And because I can't undo, I can't know what I just did. So, let's go to look at Comments and Revisions, the Document Properties, and Headers, Footers and Watermarks. When I look at my document, it doesn't appear to have any revisions in it, but the easiest way to find out is to go to the Review tab. You'll note that not only is Tracked Changes is still turned on, but this document showing as Final. In other words, this is the way that document looks if I had accepted all the changes.
But I still have Markup in this document. I'm glad the Document Inspector caught that. So, what I need to do to get rid of this, it doesn't matter what view I use, if I choose Final, those comments and reviewing marks are still in this document. The only way I'm going to get rid of them is actually to go through the process of reviewing the document itself and Accepting or Rejecting all other changes in the document. At that point, I won't have any Markup left. Now I might want to leave Track Changes on so that the recipient's changes are tracked, but I don't want to send comments or revisions unknowingly.
Next, let's go look at the footer. This document has a footer. All the Document Inspector told me is there's a footer or header in the document. It didn't tell me what the content of that footer is. But this footer gives me cause for concern. First, I want to make sure that if I'm sending a Draft, it really is a draft. Perhaps the footer should have a page number rather than the word Draft. But second, this footer shares information about the file structure in my company. It lets the person who receives this document know where this document is stored.
People who are concerned about security for the servers in your organization don't like this kind of internal information about server structure and network structure being sent outside of your organization. So we could simply remove this and be a lot better off. With Track Changes on, of course, I am now going to have to accept that change. But this would remove this. I'll just go to Review and Accept all Changes in the Document and Close my Header or Footer.
So, now all I have is Draft, which is fine. This still is a draft. The third concern that the Document Inspector raised was about personal information. That's this information here that says that a author created this document, and that information will be send out. If we don't want that kind of personal information sent, the actual name of the Author versus the name of my organization, then we can get rid of that in the Document Inspector. So, let's go back and inspect this document again.
Let's Check for Issues one more time. It says you should save this file. And I will sure. That's fine with me. I am going to have it check for everything again. Now, it says that there are Headers, Footers, and Watermarks, but we've looked at those, and we are comfortable with them. It also offers to get rid of our Document Properties. So, I'm going to say Remove All. Notice that the personal information about the Author or Authors is removed from the document. Now, I can Close the Document Inspector. Before you share documents outside of your workplace, or your document team, remember to run the Document Inspector so that the document your recipients receive is the document that you thought you've sent them.
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