Document properties are details about a file that help identify it — for example, a descriptive title, the author name, the subject, and keywords that identify topics or other important information in the file. Use document properties to display information about a file or to help organize your files so that you can find them easily later. You can also search for documents based on document properties.
Types of document properties
There are four types of document properties:
- Automatically updated properties include statistics that are maintained for you by Microsoft Office applications, such as file size and the dates files are created and last modified. For example, you can search for all files created after March 3, 1999, or for all files last modified yesterday.
- Preset properties already exist (such as author, title, and subject), but you must enter a text value. For example, in Microsoft Word, you can use the Keywords property to add the keyword "customers" to your sales files and then search for all sales files with that keyword.
- Custom properties are properties you define. You can assign a text, time, or numeric value to custom properties, and you can also assign them the values "yes" or "no." You can choose from a list of suggested names or define your own. You can optionally link custom document properties to specific items in your file, such as a named cell in Microsoft Excel, a selected item in PowerPoint, or a bookmark (bookmark: A location or selection of text in a file that you name for reference purposes. Bookmarks identify a location within your file that you can later refer or link to.) in Word. For example, in a contract form created in Word, you can create a custom file property that is linked to a form field that contains the contract's expiration date. Then you can search for all contract files with expiration dates earlier than the date you specify.
- Document library properties are for files in a document library (document library: A folder where a collection of files is shared and the files often use the same template. Each file in a library is associated with user-defined information that is displayed in the content listing for that library.) on a Web site or public folder. When you design a document library, you define one or more document library properties and set rules on their values. When users add documents to the document library, they are prompted to fill in a form assigning values to each of these properties. For example, a document library that collects product ideas could prompt the user for properties such as Submitted By, Date, Category, and Description.
Setting document properties
You can set document properties for the active file you're working on in any Microsoft Office application. If you want to be reminded to set document properties for every file you create, you can have Microsoft Excel, Word, or PowerPoint automatically display the Properties dialog box when you save files for the first time. When you add a file to a document library, you are automatically prompted for the file's document library properties.
Viewing document properties
If a document is open, you can view its properties by using the Properties command.
You can view the properties of any document by selecting the document in Windows Explorer or in the Open, Save, or Search dialog boxes. When you view a document library listing in a Web browser, each document name is listed along with its document library properties.