Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

14 Comments »

  1. Brother, you just taught me something “I did not know”… I did not realize (at a lower level) that basically personal information and “specifics” are “injected” into a document or photo I create. Funny how these things are right before us and we do not even see them. Great bit of information… Really, I do not think I have ever seen this before.

    Rick

    Comment by Ramblinrick | June 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Rick,
      I learned this lesson from a Word document (which are somewhat notorious for containing way too much “hidden” data), when someone I had e-mail a copy told me, “I like the original paragraph better. Why did you change it?”
      Seems they had decided to look at my earlier “revisions” – Word obliged – and saw stuff I had deleted.

      Folks, Rick has a simply wonderful tech-oriented blog, which I look at daily. If you haven’t yet visited — What’s On My PC?

      Comment by techpaul | June 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. That was a great tip Paul. Thanks.

    Comment by pochp | June 16, 2009 | Reply

    • pochp,
      Very kind of you sir. Thank you.

      Comment by techpaul | June 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. You can also use the document inspector in Office 07 to remove hidden metadata. It will also remove tracked changes and comments which can also be potentially embarrassing if released. I believe there is a separate add-on for older versions of Office.

    Comment by jgoto | June 16, 2009 | Reply

    • jgoto,
      That was going to be today’s article… (sigh). You’re right; and people should be aware of (and use) this tool.

      For those of you who have Office 2007:
      In the copy of your original document, click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, point to Prepare, and then click Inspect Document.
      Select the type of metadata you want removed.
      For more details on document inspector, click here.

      Comment by techpaul | June 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. there are also specialized third-party tools to clean office documents like Metadata Assistant – http://www.payneconsulting.com/products/metadataretail/ and ConfidentSend – http://www.digitalconfidence.com/ConfidentSend.html
    The advantage of these tools is that they integrate with Outlook and let you clean the attachments right before you send them.

    Comment by opus89 | June 17, 2009 | Reply

  5. Nice tip. Can this be done on multiple files?

    How can you verify that the data is gone. It seems that once you make a copy, there is a bunch of metadata in the file again. Is this all generic or anonymous or am I missing something?

    Comment by WG Hubris | January 29, 2010 | Reply

    • WG Hubris,
      You ask “can this be done on multiple files?”.. Yes, this can be done as often as wanted, but I think what you’re asking is if there’s a simple way to do many (like, say, your whole My Documents folder) with a single command.. like maybe a small script (“batch file”). I do not know of such a thing specifically for removing metadata, (that doesn’t mean there isn’t such a thing..) but there are programs for “batch” renaming, resizing, etc., and this one might do he trick for metadata as well – QuickFileRename.

      As for how could you verify that the metadata really is removed, you could open the file in a “hex editor”. But what we’re talking about here is really “tags” that machines add so that they can better understand the files they’re dealing with, and we don’t really want to fiddle with them — such as file type (is this a movie, or a text document or an executable?) and size, and even date created. We can also add “tags” ourselves to further refine our control over our file system and speed up our Searches (such as tagging certain songs with a “Jazz” category, or, “Artist”).
      But in their goal of being as helpful as possible, sometimes the machines over-tag for certain situations; as the article describes. On my copy of the file, I probably want the Save path and number of revisions, but I sure don’t want you learning my user name, nor that it takes me 23 tries to compose a simple letter…

      Folks, WG Hubris has a website that I found interesting and enjoyable to read — http://besthubris.com/

      Comment by techpaul | January 29, 2010 | Reply

  6. now how to do it to ALL files in a folder automatically

    Comment by christ2 | November 22, 2011 | Reply

    • christ2,
      There are utilities for the “batch” removal of metadata. I think there are several free ones that only remove geotags/metadata from JPEG’s, and the ones that can also do MS Office files (.doc’s, etc.) are for pay.. but there may be some free ones out there.
      A good search term would be “batch remove metadata”.

      Comment by techpaul | November 22, 2011 | Reply

  7. This is for Word, but what about removing metadata from a jpeg file – specifically the date the photo was taken? Can you just remove the date without removing the other information like camera model and file size? Thanks for your help!

    Comment by Anonymous | January 18, 2012 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      I believe this small free utility – BatchPurifier Lite – will allow you direct control over exactly which EXIF (metadata) info you want to remove from your image files.

      I have not used this myself, but, there you go.

      Comment by techpaul | January 18, 2012 | Reply

  8. Digital picture metadata is called EXIF. What is EXIF data?
    “Almost all digital cameras save JPEG files with EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data. Camera settings and scene information are recorded by the camera into the image file. Examples of stored information are shutter speed, date and time a photo was taken, focal length, exposure compensation, metering pattern and if a flash was used.”

    I used to use IrfanView – Official Homepage – one of the most popular viewers worldwide but now I used a paid program from GOTD.

    Check out Number 8 in the list. Ten More Things You Can Do With IrfanView >> Pallab dot Net

    “However, re-saving an image can reduce image quality. If you want don’t want to compromise on image quality use “JPG Lossless Operations” tool by pressing Shift+J (also available under “Options” menu). Now select “Clean all APP markers” option and save the image to get rid of all metadata associated with the image.”

    Here’s a Google search remove exif – Google Search but check to make sure it perserves the data..it’s called Lossy Try to make as many changes as you can in one save.

    Comment by delenn13 | January 18, 2012 | Reply


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