by Ekaterina Bespalaya, updated on
The time has come to tell you about different types of document properties, the ways of viewing and changing them in Excel 2019, 2016 and 2013. In this article you'll also learn how to protect your document from any modifications and remove personal information from your Excel worksheet.
Do you remember your feelings when you just started to use Excel 2016 or 2013? Personally I sometimes felt angry when I couldn't find the necessary tool or option at the place where they were in the previous Excel versions. This is what happened to the document properties in Excel 2010 / 2013. In these last two versions they are hidden deeper, but it won't take you much time to dig them out.
In this article you will find a detailed guide how to view and change the document properties, protect your document from any modifications and remove personal information from your Excel worksheet. Let's get it started! :)
Before starting to learn how to view, change and remove document properties (metadata) in Excel, let's clear up what kinds of properties an Office document can have.
Type 1. Standard properties are common to all Office 2010 applications. They contain basic information about the document such as title, subject, author, category, etc. You can assign your own text values for these properties to make it easier to find the document on your PC.
Type 2. Automatically updated properties include the data about your file that are controlled and changed by the system such as the file size and the time the document was created and modified. Some properties that are unique to the document at the application level such as the number of pages, words or characters in the document or the version of the application are automatically updated by the document content.
Type 3. Custom properties are user-defined properties. They allow you to add other properties to your Office document.
Type 4. Properties for your organization are properties specific to the organization.
Type 5. Document library properties refer to documents in a document library on a Web site or in a public folder. A person who creates a document library can set some document library properties and rules for their values. So when you want to add a file to the document library, you have to enter the values for any properties that are required, or correct any properties that are wrong.
If you don't know where to find the information about your document in Excel 2016-2010, here are three ways to do it.
This method allows you to see the information about your document right in the worksheet.
It'll automatically take you back to your worksheet and you'll see the Document Panel placed between the Ribbon and the working area as on the screenshot below.
As you see, the Document Panel shows a limited number of properties. If you're eager to know more about the document, move to the second method.
If you can't find the necessary information in the Document Panel, take the Advanced Properties into use.
The first way to display the Advanced Properties is right from the Document Panel.
Here you can see general information about your document, some statistics and document contents. You can also change the document summary or define additional custom properties. Do you want to know how to do it? Be patient! I'll share it with you a bit later in this article.
There is one more way to open the Properties dialog box.
The same Properties dialog box will appear on the screen as on the screenshot above.
One more easy way of displaying the metadata is to use Windows Explorer without opening the worksheet itself.
Now you know different ways of viewing the document properties on your PC and I am sure you'll find the necessary information without any problems.
Earlier I promised to tell you how to change the document properties. So when you view properties using Method 1 and Method 2 described above, you can immediately add the necessary information or correct invalid data. As for Method 3, it's also possible if you don't have Windows 8 installed on your computer.
If you need just to add an author, there is a very quick way to do it right up in Excel 2010 / 2013 backstage view.
You can add as many authors as there are working on the document. This quick method can be also used for changing the title or adding a tag or a category to the document.
By default, the document author name in Excel is your Windows username, but this might not properly represent you. In this case you should change the default author name so that Excel will use your proper name later on.
I've already mentioned that you can define additional properties for your Excel document. Follow the steps below to make it real.
Note: The value format must meet your choice in the Type list. It means if the chosen data type is Number, you have to type in a number in the Value field. Values that don't match the property type are saved as text.
If you click on the custom property in the Properties field and then press Delete -> OK, your just-added custom property will disappear.
If you need to change other metadata, except the author's name, title, tags and categories, you have to do it either in the Document Panel or in the Properties dialog box.
When you get back to the spreadsheet, any changes you made will be automatically saved.
If you need to cover up your traces left in the document so that nobody will see your name or your organization name in the document properties later, you can hide any property or personal information from the public using one of the following methods.
The Document Inspector is actually used for checking the document for hidden data or personal information, but it can help you to remove the properties that you aren't going to share with others.
Now you see the inspection results on your screen.
Then I'd recommend you to save the file with a new name if you want to keep an original version with the metadata.
If you want to remove properties from several documents at once, use Windows Explorer.
Note: You can remove any document property from the file or several files using this method, even if you have Windows 8 installed on your computer.
Protection of document properties and personal information is used in case you don't want other people to change any metadata or anything in your document.
If you want to let some people modify the worksheet after all, you can set a password for those who want to change something in the document.
Now your document is secured from unwanted editing. But be careful! People who know the password can easily remove it from the Password to modify box thus letting other readers change the information in the worksheet.
Wow! This post has turned out to be long! I tried to cover all the bases that concern viewing, changing and removing the document properties so I hope you'll find proper answers to the sore points involving metadata.
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