How to Remove History From Word Documents

Written by bill mann
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How to Remove History From Word Documents
Remove hidden history information from Word documents. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

When you create a document using Microsoft Word, there is more to it than is visible on the page. The document file contains all sorts of information, technically called metadata but also referred to as the document history, that is related to the document, but not displayed on the page. Unless you take steps to remove it, when you publish a Word document electronically, this history information goes along with the document. Microsoft Word 2010 comes with a built-in tool, called Inspect Document, for finding and eliminating document history.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Word 2010

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  1. 1

    Start Word 2010.

  2. 2

    Load the document you want to remove history from.

  3. 3

    Click the "File" tab on the ribbon.

  4. 4

    Click "Info" in the menu that appears on the left side of the window.

  5. 5

    Click the "Check for Issues" button in the Prepare for Sharing section of the window. This displays a menu of options.

  6. 6

    Click "Document Inspector." This opens the Document Inspector dialogue box.

  7. 7

    Select the types of information you want removed from the document.

  8. 8

    Click the "Inspect" button. Word inspects the document and displays its results in the same window. For each type of metadata included in the document, Word displays a list of what information was found and a "Remove All" button.

  9. 9

    Click the "Remove All" button for each type of metadata you want removed from the document.

  10. 10

    Click the "Reinspect" button to confirm that all the desired history information has been removed, then click "Close" to return to the document information window.

Tips and warnings

  • If the document has unsaved changes in it when you click the "Check for Issues" button, Word gives you the option to save the document before running the inspection. This is usually a good idea because it may not be possible to restore metadata that the Document Inspector removes from unsaved documents.

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