Protect Cleans Up Office Files

By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-09-20

One notable downside of collaborating on Microsoft Office documents is the hidden metadata that stays behind after the editing process is complete. Workshare Technologys Protect 3.0 gives users a way to ensure that metadata disappears before broad distribution.

Protect 3.0, which shipped last month starting at $25 per user, ably erases metadata from Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and e-mail created in Outlook. It includes a number of features that make it easy to publish and distribute content.

By default, Protect has rules for internal and external recipients. The rules can be edited, saved and distributed using the core applications silent installer. Protect can scan outbound e-mail attachments and either interactively or automatically remove metadata from them.

I used Protect to find and strip a range of metadata from Word documents, including author data, network share and server locations, hidden text, comments, and document revisions.

My quibbles with the product have to do with the binary choices available in the metadata policy rule set. I could set Protect to remove white text but couldnt remove colored text.

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