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Your Word documents show everything

This Woody's Office Watch column talks about a feature that's slowly going to bite Microsoft in the butt if they keep using it: Word's habit of keeping around revision and properties data in its documents. And it's especially a problem if you post that document online, and we can find out a lot about Microsoft employees this way:

For example, there's a document on Windows 2003 Server Virtualization at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/docs/virtualization.doc . It was written and edited by "Judith Bloch (Independent Contractor)".

She sent it out for review in an email message with the subject line "VM release anticipated to today at noon -- press release link needed for Microsoft.com product page".

The template Judith used was located at P\\online\omvss\Shadow\Windows\
WNETServer\templates\WindowsServer2003Template.dot. (Remember six months ago when we had such a brouhaha about how difficult it would be to discover the names and precise locations of templates and documents?)

Ah, that's not all. There was a fellow named Alfredo Pizzirani, involved in the reviews. Michael Kessler, Jane Dow and someone named seaton also made changes to the document. At least one of the pictures in the document was created in Adobe Photoshop.

I sure hope MS has its Photoshop licenses up to date.

They even site examples of independent studies that were, in fact, sent from the Microsoft offices. The article linked above cites a pile more examples.

Turn of the revision tracking feature, folks, unless you need it. And if you do, fine, but don't post the docs online. If you do, convert them to PDFs first.

Posted by Jake on 12/08/03 @ 11:46 PM
Posted in Geekdom | Permalink

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