Hiding my identity from Word document files

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Jim, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Is there a security utility which can help me with the following?

    I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters were
    written only by the other person. I use my PC to write the leter and
    will email the other person a Word DOC file to use on their PC. We both
    use Word 2003 on WinXP.

    However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have been
    involved in any way at all.

    (a) I do not want data in File > Properties.
    (b) I do not want to have my default margins, font, etc.
    (c) I don't want the document file to have other data which has from
    elsewhere on my PC (perhaps temp data).

    ----

    Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means the
    other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out and put
    in all the formatting for empahsis.

    Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a Word
    DOC file to anonymise it?

    Do I need to use some Word function to have two different sets of
    default layout? (See b above.)
     
    Jim, Jun 12, 2007
    #1
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  2. Jim

    Sebastian G. Guest

    Jim wrote:


    > Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a Word
    > DOC file to anonymise it?



    Yes.

    No, I'm not gonna search the link at <https://www.microsoft.com/downloads>
    for you.
     
    Sebastian G., Jun 12, 2007
    #2
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  3. In article <Xns994DAD68935935D4AM2@127.0.0.1>, Jim <> wrote:
    >I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters were
    >written only by the other person.


    >Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means the
    >other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out and put
    >in all the formatting for empahsis.


    Perhaps if you save the file as RTF type? That's a text-only format,
    so you could edit it to review that no trace of you is left in.

    I don't use Word much; in what little I've done, I think I found that
    the page size information was not preserved in the RTF file, which
    required that the page size be changed on the imported file -- but that's
    trivial compared to the import work they have had to use before.
     
    Walter Roberson, Jun 12, 2007
    #3
  4. Jim

    HenryD9 Guest

    Simply have the other person cut your text and paste it into a fresh word
    document on their computer??

    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns994DAD68935935D4AM2@127.0.0.1...
    > Is there a security utility which can help me with the following?
    >
    > I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters were
    > written only by the other person. I use my PC to write the leter and
    > will email the other person a Word DOC file to use on their PC. We both
    > use Word 2003 on WinXP.
    >
    > However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have been
    > involved in any way at all.
    >
    > (a) I do not want data in File > Properties.
    > (b) I do not want to have my default margins, font, etc.
    > (c) I don't want the document file to have other data which has from
    > elsewhere on my PC (perhaps temp data).
    >
    > ----
    >
    > Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means the
    > other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out and put
    > in all the formatting for empahsis.
    >
    > Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a Word
    > DOC file to anonymise it?
    >
    > Do I need to use some Word function to have two different sets of
    > default layout? (See b above.)
     
    HenryD9, Jun 12, 2007
    #4
  5. Jim

    Jim Guest

    On 12 Jun 2007, Walter Roberson <> wrote:

    > In article Jim <> wrote:
    >>
    >>I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters
    >>were written only by the other person.
    >>
    >>Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means
    >>the other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out
    >>and put in all the formatting for empahsis.

    >
    >
    > Perhaps if you save the file as RTF type? That's a text-only
    > format, so you could edit it to review that no trace of you is left
    > in.
    >
    > I don't use Word much; in what little I've done, I think I found
    > that the page size information was not preserved in the RTF file,
    > which required that the page size be changed on the imported file
    > -- but that's trivial compared to the import work they have had to
    > use before.


    I tried RTF but I hear implementations are not consistent. For my needs
    there is not quite enough formatting in the RTF which I get from my RTF
    editor, Crypt Edit.
     
    Jim, Jun 12, 2007
    #5
  6. Jim

    Jim Guest

    On 12 Jun 2007, HenryD9 <> wrote:

    > Simply have the other person cut your text and paste it into a
    > fresh word document on their computer??
    >
    > "Jim" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns994DAD68935935D4AM2@127.0.0.1...
    >> Is there a security utility which can help me with the following?
    >>
    >> I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters
    >> were written only by the other person. I use my PC to write the
    >> leter and will email the other person a Word DOC file to use on
    >> their PC. We both use Word 2003 on WinXP.
    >>
    >> However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have been
    >> involved in any way at all.
    >>
    >> (a) I do not want data in File > Properties.
    >> (b) I do not want to have my default margins, font, etc.
    >> (c) I don't want the document file to have other data which has
    >> from elsewhere on my PC (perhaps temp data).
    >>
    >> ----
    >>
    >> Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means
    >> the other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out
    >> and put in all the formatting for empahsis.
    >>
    >> Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a
    >> Word DOC file to anonymise it?
    >>
    >> Do I need to use some Word function to have two different sets of
    >> default layout? (See b above.)

    >
    >



    Often cut and paste in Windows can preserve formatting. :-(
     
    Jim, Jun 12, 2007
    #6
  7. Jim

    Jim Guest

    On 12 Jun 2007, Sebastian G. <> wrote:

    > Jim wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a
    >> Word DOC file to anonymise it?

    >
    >
    > Yes.
    >
    > No, I'm not gonna search the link at
    > <https://www.microsoft.com/downloads> for you.


    Good job you don't want to as there is nothing there. Heh!
     
    Jim, Jun 12, 2007
    #7
  8. Jim

    Arthur T. Guest

    In Message-ID:<Xns994DAD68935935D4AM2@127.0.0.1>,
    Jim <> wrote:

    >However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have been
    >involved in any way at all.
    >
    >(a) I do not want data in File > Properties.
    >(b) I do not want to have my default margins, font, etc.
    >(c) I don't want the document file to have other data which has from
    >elsewhere on my PC (perhaps temp data).


    Start by installing the M$ Remove Hidden Data add-in:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...ED-D43E-42CA-BC7B-5446D34E5360&displaylang=en

    However, this doesn't remove everything. The Statistics tab
    of File Properties isn't affected. Also, of course, it won't
    affect margins. However, you could set up a template with your
    recipient's margins, etc.

    Henry's suggestion is probably best: Have the recipient
    copy-and-paste the whole document into a new one. This should be
    done in conjunction with the RHD tool (before or after), as this
    technique doesn't get rid of hidden text or some other things
    you'd think it would. Note that formatting information *will*
    stay with the text, so you must have the paragraph style, font,
    and so on of your recipient.

    --
    Arthur T. - ar23hur "at" intergate "dot" com
    Looking for a z/OS (IBM mainframe) systems programmer position
     
    Arthur T., Jun 12, 2007
    #8
  9. Jim

    Anders Guest

    Jim skrev:
    > Is there a security utility which can help me with the following?
    >
    > I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters were
    > written only by the other person. I use my PC to write the leter and
    > will email the other person a Word DOC file to use on their PC. We both
    > use Word 2003 on WinXP.
    >
    > However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have been
    > involved in any way at all.
    >
    > (a) I do not want data in File > Properties.
    > (b) I do not want to have my default margins, font, etc.
    > (c) I don't want the document file to have other data which has from
    > elsewhere on my PC (perhaps temp data).
    >
    > ----
    >
    > Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means the
    > other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out and put
    > in all the formatting for empahsis.
    >
    > Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a Word
    > DOC file to anonymise it?
    >
    > Do I need to use some Word function to have two different sets of
    > default layout? (See b above.)


    If you have the extra space, and if there is a lot of letters you have
    to writhe for him.
    Why don't you just create a new user in his name?
    It would probably save both you and him a lot of extra work.
    Just a thought.
    /Anders
     
    Anders, Jun 12, 2007
    #9
  10. Jim

    Colin B. Guest

    In alt.computer.security Jim <> wrote:
    > On 12 Jun 2007, Sebastian G. <> wrote:
    >
    >> Jim wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a
    >>> Word DOC file to anonymise it?

    >>
    >> Yes.
    >>
    >> No, I'm not gonna search the link at
    >> <https://www.microsoft.com/downloads> for you.

    >
    > Good job you don't want to as there is nothing there. Heh!


    There is for me. If this is too difficult for you, you're in trouble.
     
    Colin B., Jun 12, 2007
    #10
  11. Jim

    jc Guest

    Jim wrote:
    > On 12 Jun 2007, HenryD9 <> wrote:
    >
    >> Simply have the other person cut your text and paste it into a
    >> fresh word document on their computer??
    >>
    >> "Jim" <> wrote in message
    >> news:Xns994DAD68935935D4AM2@127.0.0.1...
    >>> Is there a security utility which can help me with the following?
    >>>
    >>> I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters
    >>> were written only by the other person. I use my PC to write the
    >>> leter and will email the other person a Word DOC file to use on
    >>> their PC. We both use Word 2003 on WinXP.
    >>>
    >>> However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have been
    >>> involved in any way at all.
    >>>
    >>> (a) I do not want data in File > Properties.
    >>> (b) I do not want to have my default margins, font, etc.
    >>> (c) I don't want the document file to have other data which has
    >>> from elsewhere on my PC (perhaps temp data).
    >>>
    >>> ----
    >>>
    >>> Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means
    >>> the other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out
    >>> and put in all the formatting for empahsis.
    >>>
    >>> Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a
    >>> Word DOC file to anonymise it?
    >>>
    >>> Do I need to use some Word function to have two different sets of
    >>> default layout? (See b above.)

    >>

    >
    >
    > Often cut and paste in Windows can preserve formatting. :-(


    If you're concerned about the formatting, type it in a plain text editor
    such as Notepad and send it that way.


    jc
     
    jc, Jun 12, 2007
    #11
  12. Jim

    Jim Watt Guest

    On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 18:42:38 +0100, Jim <> wrote:

    >I tried RTF but I hear implementations are not consistent. For my needs
    >there is not quite enough formatting in the RTF which I get from my RTF
    >editor, Crypt Edit.


    I thought you were using word?

    Anyway .rtf is the way to go for compatibility and interchange
    of documents without unwanted embedded things.


    --
    Jim Watt
    http://www.gibnet.com
     
    Jim Watt, Jun 12, 2007
    #12
  13. Jim

    Todd H. Guest

    Jim <> writes:

    > On 12 Jun 2007, Walter Roberson <> wrote:
    >
    > > In article Jim <> wrote:
    > >>
    > >>I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters
    > >>were written only by the other person.
    > >>
    > >>Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this means
    > >>the other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it all out
    > >>and put in all the formatting for empahsis.

    > >
    > >
    > > Perhaps if you save the file as RTF type? That's a text-only
    > > format, so you could edit it to review that no trace of you is left
    > > in.
    > >
    > > I don't use Word much; in what little I've done, I think I found
    > > that the page size information was not preserved in the RTF file,
    > > which required that the page size be changed on the imported file
    > > -- but that's trivial compared to the import work they have had to
    > > use before.

    >
    > I tried RTF but I hear implementations are not consistent. For my needs
    > there is not quite enough formatting in the RTF which I get from my RTF
    > editor, Crypt Edit.


    So let me see if I have this straight.

    You want something that removes margins font, etc, yet you want it to
    have a bunch of formating that isn't available in the RTF format Word
    spits out? These seem like conflicting goals to me.

    I'm curious what info is or isn't in the .doc format exported by
    Openoffice.org's writer program though.


    --
    Todd H.
    http://www.toddh.net/
     
    Todd H., Jun 12, 2007
    #13
  14. Jim

    Sebastian G. Guest

    Todd H. wrote:


    > You want something that removes margins font, etc,



    I'd rather say that he wants something that removes metadata from the
    formatting data, e.g. that it's still fat, 10pt, Times New Roman, but does
    not belong to the style class "breakfast at Tifanny's".

    > I'm curious what info is or isn't in the .doc format exported by
    > Openoffice.org's writer program though.


    Metadata about formatting for sure. Anyway else it removes everything it
    doesn't understand, whereas the rest is exported via the user interface, so
    you can change it. It also removes compiled macro code.
     
    Sebastian G., Jun 12, 2007
    #14
  15. Jim <> (07-06-12 17:02:48):

    > I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters were
    > written only by the other person. I use my PC to write the leter and
    > will email the other person a Word DOC file to use on their PC. We
    > both use Word 2003 on WinXP.
    >
    > However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have been
    > involved in any way at all.


    Others have already answered that part. However, your problem is a kind
    of privacy problem. Microsoft did not care a lot about privacy, or they
    did it that bad even intentionally. I don't know. But a lot of data is
    saved in Microsoft Office files, quite a bunch of data, that doesn't
    belong there and serves no purpose in that context. A quick binary look
    at the file will show this.

    This is why I would suggest to switch to something completely different,
    which is not Microsoft. If quality is of matter, use LaTeX. You don't
    care about the formatting, but let the professionals do it for you, so
    that this `someone else' guy wouldn't even want or need to reformat it.

    The other option is HTML. For example, you write the content and
    `someone else' writes the stylesheet. In the worst case, HTML can be
    copy&pasted into a fresh Office document, and it will preserve the text
    formatting in a context-sensitive manner. In other words, it will
    preserve the information that a piece of text is a title, or something
    emphasized, and if you change the size, in which titles are printed,
    then all titles will change at once.

    Depending on how much time you are willing to invest in privacy, you
    might prefer one or the other. LaTeX produces high quality output.
    HTML, on the other hand, takes a much shorter learning path. There are
    good WYSIWYG editors for both of them, so you don't need to learn a new
    markup language, if you don't want to.


    Regards,
    Ertugrul Söylemez.


    --
    Security is the one concept, which makes things in your life stay as
    they are. Otto is a man, who is afraid of changes in his life; so
    naturally he does not employ security.
     
    Ertugrul Soeylemez, Jun 13, 2007
    #15
  16. Jim

    Ronnie Guest

    On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 23:09:36 +0200, "Sebastian G." <>
    wrote:

    >Todd H. wrote:


    >> I'm curious what info is or isn't in the .doc format exported by
    >> Openoffice.org's writer program though.

    >
    >Metadata about formatting for sure. Anyway else it removes everything it
    >doesn't understand, whereas the rest is exported via the user interface, so
    >you can change it. It also removes compiled macro code.


    Sebastian, this was too quick for me to understand.

    Is there a reference somewhere describing these aspects in more depth?
    I particularly didn't understand 'metadata about formatting', and
    neither did I understand quite what the 'rest' is, or what is meant by
    exporting via the user interface.


    ______________
    regards,
    Ron
     
    Ronnie, Jun 13, 2007
    #16
  17. Jim

    Jim Guest

    On 12 Jun 2007, Jim Watt <_way> wrote:

    > On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 18:42:38 +0100, Jim <> wrote:
    >
    >>I tried RTF but I hear implementations are not consistent. For my
    >>needs there is not quite enough formatting in the RTF which I get
    >>from my RTF editor, Crypt Edit.

    >
    > I thought you were using word?
    >
    > Anyway .rtf is the way to go for compatibility and interchange
    > of documents without unwanted embedded things.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Jim Watt
    > http://www.gibnet.com


    I am using word.

    Seems you may not have read the whole of my posting where you see I am
    replying to someone who asks if I have considered using RTF.
     
    Jim, Jun 13, 2007
    #17
  18. Jim

    Jim Guest

    On 12 Jun 2007, Sebastian G. <> wrote:

    > Todd H. wrote:
    >
    >
    >> You want something that removes margins font, etc,

    >
    >
    > I'd rather say that he wants something that removes metadata from
    > the formatting data, e.g. that it's still fat, 10pt, Times New
    > Roman, but does not belong to the style class "breakfast at
    > Tifanny's".


    I am the OP. I see I have done a poor job of explaining this and yet
    I can't add much more to explain the original post.


    >
    >> I'm curious what info is or isn't in the .doc format exported by
    >> Openoffice.org's writer program though.

    >
    > Metadata about formatting for sure. Anyway else it removes
    > everything it doesn't understand, whereas the rest is exported via
    > the user interface, so you can change it. It also removes compiled
    > macro code.
    >
     
    Jim, Jun 13, 2007
    #18
  19. Jim

    Jim Guest

    On 12 Jun 2007, Colin B. <> wrote:

    > In alt.computer.security Jim <> wrote:
    >> On 12 Jun 2007, Sebastian G. <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Jim wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>> Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a
    >>>> Word DOC file to anonymise it?
    >>>
    >>> Yes.
    >>>
    >>> No, I'm not gonna search the link at
    >>> <https://www.microsoft.com/downloads> for you.

    >>
    >> Good job you don't want to as there is nothing there. Heh!

    >
    > There is for me. If this is too difficult for you, you're in trouble.
    >


    I think I am. I guess that's why I have asked for help. I just don't
    know everything about computing or word processing.
     
    Jim, Jun 13, 2007
    #19
  20. Jim

    Jim Guest

    On 12 Jun 2007, jc <> wrote:

    > Jim wrote:
    >> On 12 Jun 2007, HenryD9 <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Simply have the other person cut your text and paste it into a
    >>> fresh word document on their computer??
    >>>
    >>> "Jim" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:Xns994DAD68935935D4AM2@127.0.0.1...
    >>>> Is there a security utility which can help me with the
    >>>> following?
    >>>>
    >>>> I need to write some letters for someone else as if the letters
    >>>> were written only by the other person. I use my PC to write the
    >>>> leter and will email the other person a Word DOC file to use on
    >>>> their PC. We both use Word 2003 on WinXP.
    >>>>
    >>>> However I do not want the DOC file I send to show that I have
    >>>> been involved in any way at all.
    >>>>
    >>>> (a) I do not want data in File > Properties.
    >>>> (b) I do not want to have my default margins, font, etc.
    >>>> (c) I don't want the document file to have other data which has
    >>>> from elsewhere on my PC (perhaps temp data).
    >>>>
    >>>> ----
    >>>>
    >>>> Until now I have been sending them unformatted text but this
    >>>> means the other person has to paste it into Word and then lay it
    >>>> all out and put in all the formatting for empahsis.
    >>>>
    >>>> Is there some software which will strip out the identifiers in a
    >>>> Word DOC file to anonymise it?
    >>>>
    >>>> Do I need to use some Word function to have two different sets
    >>>> of default layout? (See b above.)
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >> Often cut and paste in Windows can preserve formatting. :-(

    >
    > If you're concerned about the formatting, type it in a plain text
    > editor such as Notepad and send it that way.
    >



    It is very important that I minimise the other person's work. If I
    give them plain text to lay out and format then they will rightly say
    is not part of our arrangement.

    If you recall I want to do the actual work.

    I want the result must not to look as if it came from me or from my
    copy of Word or from my PC.
     
    Jim, Jun 13, 2007
    #20
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