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Warning about Word documents


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I don't know if you are aware, but Word has a security flaw that allows others to see text that you thought you had deleted from a document. When you post a document here it is possible to see things that you thought you have safely removed. It's how the WMD document was traced back to a student's thesis or some such research document. Your document also contains traces of your Windows username, which could be your full name in some circumstances.

 

There is a tool that can be downloaded from MS that will clean up the file, but the simple way is to open the document, delete what you don't want to show and then do Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C to copy the remaining content and paste it in to here. That way the original document with names, addresses, reference numbers, amounts, etc. is not available online to be examined (even though all those details have been 'deleted'). Don't save the changes to the Word document to keep the original version.

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Alternatively never send out Word documents. Convert them to pdf files instead.

Can point you at several free pdf converters if the mods will allow it.

I really do appreciate all those 'thank you' emails - I'm glad I've been able to help. Apologies if I haven't acknowledged all of them.

You can also ding my gong if you prefer. :)

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Alternatively never send out Word documents. Convert them to pdf files instead.

Agreed - this is why, after the WMD document fiasco, that all government docs are in PDF format for download. If you have the ability to save the Word document as PDF then you should remove all personal info then save as a PDF and post the PDF here instead of the Word doc.

 

The reason I brought this up was that I saw a document here yesterday that had the sender's name in the document file, even though it wasn't showing in Word itself because he had deleted it.

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EXCELLENT INFORMATION! :cool:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others. :)

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Agreed - this is why, after the WMD document fiasco, that all government docs are in PDF format for download.
Oooh, so THAT's why? I was wondering why all the Court info leaflets had all been pulled out and reissued as .pdf on the HMCS website! :confused:

 

Thanks for that, very useful indeed.

 

Scales duly tipped. :-)

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Thank you, Bookie!

 

It is possible to trace back the amendment history of a Word document if the originator(s) have been lax. Word 2007 has an option to clean it up, and also there's a free download of a PDF export tool for it, which is the best option of all.

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I believe if you save as RTF documents (Rich Text Format), then the document's layout etc is preserved, but no history is saved.

 

Some things are saved but I can't recall exactly what. Open an RTF document using notepad and have a look. If you know what you're doing you can even use notepad to edit an RTF file (but life's too short...:)).

I really do appreciate all those 'thank you' emails - I'm glad I've been able to help. Apologies if I haven't acknowledged all of them.

You can also ding my gong if you prefer. :)

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I believe if you save as RTF documents (Rich Text Format), then the document's layout etc is preserved, but no history is saved.

I've not tried it, but it should be safe. I didn't think anyone used RTF anymore.

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Another way in Word to do this is to edit the original to remove personal info, Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, then open a new blank document and paste into there and save it as a 'clean' copy of the original. If you find you've left anything in it by accident you have to go back to the original version and start again, removing all the personal info again - don't edit the clean version.

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I've not tried it, but it should be safe. I didn't think anyone used RTF anymore.

 

RTF is ubiquitous, especially outside the Microsoft world. Incidentally Word format evolved from RTF, sometime about Office 97 I think. I do know that the old Word 2 for DOS was completely different and we never did find a way to decipher it (missed out on a chance to convert millions of documents in Word 2 to something more usable - the contract was worth about £2M altogether:-(:-(:-(. Believe me we tried.).

I really do appreciate all those 'thank you' emails - I'm glad I've been able to help. Apologies if I haven't acknowledged all of them.

You can also ding my gong if you prefer. :)

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There were cases when Word couldn't import the RTF that it exported! There were also changes made to RTF by MS that made it susceptible to viruses, whereas it used to be safe at a time when Word docs had more security holes than Swiss cheese.

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