Stripping metadata from Microsoft Office documents
Many file-types automatically save certain additional information in so-called metadata, whether you want them or not. In Office files, metadata contain the author and the person who last saved the file, for example. While you may sometimes find this information useful for yourself, metadata can also give away a great deal of personal information about you and your work on the computer when sharing or publishing files. To better protect your privacy, the metadata information hidden in your files can be deleted if necessary.
In Windows Explorer
- In Windows Explorer, right-click on the file from which you want to delete the metadata. You can also delete metadata from several files at once – select all of the files and right click on them.
- Select “Properties” from the menu, then go to the "Details" tab. Click on the blue link below that says "Remove Properties and Personal information".
- In the next window, Windows offers two different methods to remove the information:
- With the default option, "Create a copy with all possible properties removed", Windows will create a copy of the selected file with the same name, when you click on the "OK" button. In this copy, all metadata are deleted, while the original file with metadata is kept intact.
- If you want to decide yourself which metadata should be deleted and which should be kept, choose the option "Remove the following properties from this file" and tick the information that should be taken out. After you click on the "OK" button, the selected information will be removed directly from the original file.
In Microsoft Word and Excel 2010
- Click on the "File" tab and then on "Info " in the menu column.
- Click on "Inspect Document" under "Check for Issues" in the "Prepare for Sharing" zone. When the "Document Inspector " window appears, click on the "Inspect " button.
- Click on the "Remove All " button, under "Document Properties and Personal Information" in the list.
Opening several folder windows at once in Windows Explorer
You can open several folder windows at once in Windows Explorer in just a few clicks.
- In the right-hand area of the Windows Explorer window, select the folders that you want to open, while holding down [CTRL].
- Press Enter.
Each folder will open in a separate window.
Setting keyboard shortcuts to open programs faster
A longstanding but little-known feature of Windows is the possibility to launch frequently used programs with keyboard shortcuts.
- On the "Start" menu, right-click on a program and select "Properties".
- Click in the "Shortcut key" field, and enter the key combination you would like to use to run the program.
You will then be able to access the program from anywhere.
N.B.: This feature also works with folders in Windows Explorer.
Renaming multiple files or folders quickly
To rename multiple files or folders simply:
- Select a file or folder in Windows Explorer.
- Press [F2].
- Enter the new file name.
- Then press the [Tab] key instead of Enter.
Windows Explorer moves to the next file and selects the file name to change.
Closing an unresponsive programme with a mouse click
A programme has crashed and is blocking several processes.
If the programme stops responding, you can shut it down without going through the Task Manager:
- Right-click on a free area of the Desktop.
- In the context menu, choose "New" > "Shortcut".
- In the "Create Shortcut" dialogue, enter the following text in the "Type the location of the item" field:
taskkill /F /FI "STATUS eq NOT RESPONDING
- Click on the "Next" button.
- Choose a recognizable name for your shortcut (eg. "End unresponsive processes").
- Click on the "Finish" button.
Now you will be able to stop all unresponsive processes by clicking this shortcut.
Any unsaved files in the programme will be lost!