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The Document Inspector in Word – Tutorial for Lawyers

The Document Inspector in Word: Overview

            This lesson focuses on using the Document Inspector in Word to remove hidden document data. Accepting or rejecting tracked changes within a document will most often remove all tracked changes. However, the Document Inspector in Word lets you review and inspect legal documents for hidden data and hidden tracked changes. It also finds other metadata within your document that you will not want to send to a client.

            Before using the Document Inspector to remove hidden or personal data from a document, ensure you save a copy of it. You do this because the data removed by the Document Inspector is not always possible to restore. This is very important to note.

            After saving a copy of the original document, open the document and then click the “File” tab in the Ribbon. To the right, in the “Info” section of the Backstage View, click the “Check for Issues” drop-down button. Then click the “Inspect Document” command from the menu of choices that appears.

            In the “Document Inspector” dialog box that appears, check the checkboxes for the types of data to find and remove. When you are ready to continue, click the “Inspect” button. Word then displays any hidden information for the selected categories in a results page.

The Document Inspector in Word - Tutorial for Lawyers: A picture of the results shown in the Document Inspector in Word.

The Document Inspector in Word – Tutorial for Lawyers: A picture of the results shown in the Document Inspector in Word.

            For each category’s results, you can click the “Remove All” button to remove all the data shown within that category. When finished, then click the “Close” button in the “Document Inspector” dialog box. On a technical note, be aware that if you save your documents using the “OpenDocument Text” (.odf) format, you must run the document inspector every time you save the document to that format to remove all hidden data.

The Document Inspector in Word: Instructions

  1. Before using the Document Inspector, save a copy of the document. You do this because the data removed by the Document Inspector is not always possible to restore. This is very important to note.
  2. To use the Document Inspector in Word after saving a copy of the original document, click the “File” tab in the Ribbon.
  3. To the right, in the “Info” section of the Backstage View, click the “Check for Issues” drop-down button.
  4. Then click the “Inspect Document” command from the menu of choices that appears.
  5. In the “Document Inspector” dialog box, check the checkboxes for the types of data to find and remove.
  6. When you are ready to continue, click the “Inspect” button.
  7. Word then shows any hidden information for the selected categories in a results page.
  8. To remove all the data from an individual category, click the “Remove All” button in that category.
  9. To close the “Document Inspector” dialog box when finished, click the “Close” button.
  10. If you save your documents into the “OpenDocument Text” (.odf) format, you must run the document inspector every time you save the document to that format to remove all hidden data.

The Document Inspector in Word: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Using the Document Inspector,” shows you how to use the Document Inspector in Word. This video lesson is from our complete Word training for lawyers, titled “Mastering Word Made Easy for Lawyers v.2016-2013.”

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