Remove personal or hidden information

Before you give others a copy of the workbook, it's a good idea to review personal and hidden information, and decide whether it's appropriate to include. You may want to remove some information from the workbook and from the workbook file properties before you share the workbook with others.

 Note   If you save a workbook in a file format that can be read by a great number of programs besides Microsoft Excel—for example, .txt, .htm, .mht, and .xml formats—any personal information described in this topic is easily viewed by anyone who has permission to open the file. By saving a workbook in an Excel file format (.xls), even those individuals with permission to open the file cannot necessarily find personal information easily. For example, if changes to content are password-protected, only users who know the password can see who has been granted permission to edit certain parts of the workbook.

ShowWhere is personal or hidden information stored?

File Properties

These properties include Author, Manager, Company, and Last Saved By.

Some Excel features use the personal information in file properties. When you remove this information, these features may not work as desired. Removing personal information affects the following features:

  • Send to Mail Recipient (for Review)
  • Tracked changes
  • Information Rights Management
  • Online collaboration
  • Document Workspace sites
  • Comments (names are removed)
  • Metadata-based search engines, such as FindFast and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server search engines (documents can be indexed by limited data only, such as content and title)

Other hidden information

For example, hidden, revised text, comments, or field codes can remain in a document even though you don’t see it or expect it to be in the final version. If you entered personal information, such as your name or e-mail address, when you registered your software, some Microsoft Office documents store that information as part of the workbook. Information contained in custom fields that you add to the document, such as an "author" or "owner" field, is not automatically removed. You must edit or remove the custom field to remove that information.

Remove personal information from file properties

When you use this procedure, the following personal information is removed from your document:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and click the Security tab.
  2. Select the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box.
  3. Save the document.

Your documents and Microsoft

Unless you send your document to Microsoft, Microsoft does not have access to any information from your document.

Applies to:
Excel 2003