A Tip For Microsoft Word

I know most of the editors that I work with prefer to get articles emailed to them as Word documents. With a Word document, you can be sending along a lot more information than you might think.

Try checking the properties of the documents you have saved. Depending on what information you used to register the software, it’s possible that you’re sending out a lot of personal information that you may not want to. It’s also possible that you have some inappropriate information in those properties. For instance, I’ve seen .doc files with ‘Confidential’ in the properties, when the material truly wasn’t. And if you’re freelancing from a 9 to 5 job, your properties could include that company’s contact information, making your use of time a little less subtle.

You can fix these properties very easily, though. Under ‘File’, there is an option for ‘Properties’. It will only take a moment to either empty the fields or to correct them to appropriate information. It is also possible to change your settings so that Microsoft Word does not automatically save any information to properties, at least in recent versions.* Under ‘Tools’ on Windows or under ‘Word’ on Macintosh, select ‘Options’ or ‘Preferences’. A dialog box should pop up. Chose ‘Security’ and click the box for ‘Remove personal information from properties on save.’ And there you go!

*I believe that Word 2000 and previous versions don’t have this option, but I don’t have access to them, so I can’t be sure.

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3 Comments

  1. Steve Davis   •  

    Thanks for this tip. I hadn’t thought of this before. Something that we writers should all be aware of. Good work

  2. Nancy   •  

    Really good tip — this is something I hardly ever think about, and yet I’m always sending Word files to editors/my agent. Thanks.

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