At our company we need to deploy one Excel Workbook in that way that nobody would see it is made by us by looking at the Office metadata.

What fields do we need to look for? I know, that the document has track of original writer and the last save author. But is it all? I guess there might be some hidden properties, that might give our company name.

Where to look for such fields? Is there any good editor available, or will explorer's property page give enough power?

I use Excel 2010

  • Which Version of Office are you using? From 2007 upwards (i think) there is an option to remove metadata and other hidden information. Nov 12, 2012 at 9:39
  • @TheUser Where is that option? Are you sure, it deletes all that can identify us? Nov 12, 2012 at 9:46
  • Ha ha, or one could use this and claim ownership of your work!
    – Dave
    Nov 12, 2012 at 10:01
  • @AdamRyczkowski Check PJCs detailed answer. And no, i can NOT guarantee that this covers all you want. :-) Nov 12, 2012 at 10:23

3 Answers 3


In Office 2010, like some earlier versions, there is an option to "Prepare for Sharing".

First go to the "File" tab, then select "Info".

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In the right hand pane you'll see "Prepare for Sharing", which may already show some issues:

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Click "Check for Issues" -> "Inspect Document", which will pop up a window, where you can select the issues you want to look at:

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From what you've said, the most important one to check is "Document Properties and Personal Information", but I'd leave them all selected, personally. When you're happy, click 'Inspect', which will produce a report:

enter image description here

Now just click on "Remove All" as needed in each category to remove any of the information that has been returned (in this case 'Author').

Then save the file (presumably with a new name if you want to retain the metadata in your original for internal use).

  • Besides this, for only Document Properties Windows Explorer's Properties / Details tab should also be able to help as it contains a Remove Properties and Personal Information option.
    – Karan
    Nov 12, 2012 at 18:17
  • 1
    I can confirm by searching through the xml data inside the Excel file, that this method indeed deletes all personal information, just as it should be. Nov 12, 2012 at 22:08
  • This still works, even in Excel 2016.
    – Alex. S.
    Jan 3, 2020 at 21:31
  • This works with Excel 2019. The only difference is, "Prepare for Sharing" is now called "Inspect Workbook" available under File>Info.
    – pras92
    Aug 31, 2022 at 6:32

An .xlsx file is actually a ZIP file with a different extension. Unzip it and have a look at the docProps\core.xml file with a utility like XML-Marker.

  • What do you mean it is a zip? I thought .XLXS is an Excel 2007 / 2010 file?
    – Dave
    Nov 12, 2012 at 10:00
  • It is a zipped file with xml documents ...
    – bummi
    Nov 12, 2012 at 10:02
  • 3
    ...you can unzip using 7zip for example. This is a great way to get all images in the document as a file for example without copy pasting them. Nov 12, 2012 at 10:24
  • Do you think this is a supported method?
    – Alex Angas
    May 23, 2014 at 7:21

I would save the file in an XML-based format (e.g. xslx) supported by Excel, unzip the file and peruse the contents using an XML editor (you can use notepad in a pinch), search for the strings that you are concerned might be present (e.g. people and organisation names)

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<?mso-application progid="Excel.Sheet"?>
  <DocumentProperties xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">
    <Author>Darl McBride</Author>
    <LastAuthor>Bill Gates</LastAuthor>
    <Company>SCO Group, Inc.</Company>
  • Yes. It is just what I did. I used grep --include '*' -rli <authorname> * in Linux shell. I guess on Windows you can use Cygwin as well. This way I verified that the "official" method suggested by @PJC works as intended. Nov 12, 2012 at 15:22
  • Do you think this is a supported method?
    – Alex Angas
    May 23, 2014 at 7:21

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