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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2014 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Sep 16, 2011

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Do you share your WordPerfect documents?

If so, you probably should change your Undo/Redo History options, and/or use a macro to remove confidential revisions or deletions before distribution.

You may also want to remove all other metadata from your document before sharing it. [Metadata is data that describes other data. -Netlingo.com.]

WordPerfect X3 and later versions: You can remove various metadata directly from a choice on the File menu.

Microsoft Word users: MSWord has similar issues with metadata in its .DOC files.

  • For Word 97 see here.
  • For Word 2000 see here.
  • For Word 2002 see here.

Undo/Redo History

When WordPerfect saves your document, it might also be saving much of your Und/Redo information. Then if you send that document to someone, they could peek into this bit of document history and see what you had cut, copied, deleted, etc. You probably don't want this to happen, so -

  • Click on Edit, Undo/Redo History, then click the Options button. Remove the check mark in front of "Save Undo/Redo Items with Document." Click OK, then Close.
    • Important: Be sure to save the document again, and then either (1) play the author's Updater macro on the file, which uses the "X-Retrieve" method of rebuilding the internal file header; or (2) use the X-Retrieve method on the file:
      • The "X-Retrieve" method mentioned on the Corel support site is often effective since it rebuilds the internal header for the document. However, the instructions are a little sketchy. Here's how to do it: Open a new, blank document. Type an "x" (actually, any character); insert the problem file with Insert>File; delete the "x"; save the file. This rebuilds a critical internal component of the document.
      • Also, from Charles Rossiter (Corel C_Tech):
        • "My macros NewSave and CleanSave [part of Rossiter.zip on this site] will do the removal of all metadata for you. NewSave is an automation of the X-Retrieve process [as is Updater]. CleanSave is similar, but adds options to maintain file data, document summary, current document style."
      • You can also download WPLOOK.EXE from Corel's FTP site. This file repair program is at ftp://ftp.corel.com/pub/WordPerfect/wpwin/10/ and will work on documents created with WordPerfect 6 (Windows) and later versions (see also the ReadMe file on that download page).
        • Once WPLOOK is downloaded and placed in a convenient folder, close the WordPerfect document that you want to process with WPLOOK.
        • Run the WPLOOK program by double-clicking it in Windows Explorer. Then, when it loads -
          • open the WordPerfect file with it by clicking File, Open on the WPLOOK menu;
          • check the "Remove UNDO information" box (most users will also want to check the "Repair Corruption" box);
          • click on the Repair button at least three or four times to remove all Undo information and any corruption.
        • Note that you can also remove unused styles from the document with WPLOOK. This might make the file smaller. Check the appropriate box on the main screen.
        • Also see the program's Edit menu for a selection that can replace all text characters with Z's, to scramble a document but leave the formatting; this is useful for consultants to help them find problems without divulging private information.
  • From Jim Shackleford:
    • "... you may also want to change environmental settings/preferences [in Tools, Settings, Environment] to 'Format document before saving' in WP9 [and later versions]. In WP8, set the environmental setting to "Slow save".
    • [Note: The "Slow Save / Format document before saving" feature, if the checkbox in Tools, Settings, Environment is left unchecked, speeds up the process of saving a document by saving only the changes that are made to a document. Enable (check) this option to save the entire document each time a save is performed; this will help ensure that deleted material is not also (internally) saved along with the document. The slower speed of such saves should not be an issue, especially given the benefits.]
    • Jim has posted a macro, nometa.zip, on WordPerfect Universe's Code Snippets Forum, here. It is designed to strip out metadata from Wordperfect documents (not tested by this author).

TIPS

  • If you want to store your revisions with the document when it is saved, you can leave "Save Undo/Redo Items with Document" enabled as the default. If you don't share your documents this isn't much of an issue, other than increasing the file's size (sometimes quite a bit). But if you plan to distribute the current document to others, you should play the Updater macro (or Charles Rossiter's macros) on it before sending it to someone. You can play Updater on the current document of on any stored file. Along with its other functions, Updater -- which uses a technique known as "X-Retrieve" -- will remove the Undo/Redo History which may contain confidential revisions or deletions.
  • Note: WordPerfect X3 and later versions can remove metadata directly from a choice on the File menu. However ... for other versions (WordPerfect 12 and earlier), if you are really concerned about security, read the next section.

The Definitive(?) Word on Metadata

From Corel's Support site, Answer ID 753605 in Corel's old database (no longer available):

NOTE

  • WordPerfect X3 and later versions can remove various metadata directly from a choice on the File menu ("Save Without Metadata").
  • Drummond Wilson, a Corel employee, also posted this information on the WordPerfect 9 public newsgroup on 4/5/2001. The original article is also cached on Google Groups.

Minimizing Metadata Content in Corel WordPerfect Documents

Whenever a WordPerfect document is created, opened or saved, the document may contain content that you do not wish to share with others when the document is distributed electronically. This information is known as metadata. Metadata is used for a variety of purposes to enhance the editing, viewing, filing, and retrieval of electronic documents. Metadata can be described as structured data about data, increasingly the term refers to any data that is used to aid the identification, description, and location of networked electronic resources.

Some metadata is readily accessible through the WordPerfect user interface, other metadata is only accessible through extraordinary means, such as opening a document in a low-level binary file editor.

Below are some examples of metadata that may be stored in WordPerfect documents:

  • Username
  • Initials
  • Company or organization name
  • The name of your computer
  • Other file properties and summary information
  • Non-visible portions of embedded OLE objects
  • Document revisions
  • Hidden text
  • Comments

This article explains various methods that can be used to minimize the amount of metadata that is contained within WordPerfect documents.

Metadata is created in a variety of ways within WordPerfect documents. As a result, there is no single method that can be used to eliminate all such content from a document. The following sections describe areas where metadata may be saved within WordPerfect documents.

How to prevent the Username from being used

To view or change your username by performing the following steps:
1. Click Tools, Settings and select the environment icon
2. Select the General tab.

The following edit boxes should be visible:
- Name
- Initials

If this information is not to appear in a WordPerfect document, enter non-identifying strings or spaces in the appropriate edit boxes, and then click OK to accept the changes. Any new documents that are created will contain this information, rather than the default values that may have been present after the installation of WordPerfect. However, existing documents may already contain this information.

How to remove Summary information

When creating or saving a document in WordPerfect, summary information may be saved within the document. By default the following information (if input) may be present in the summary information of a WordPerfect document:

  • Abstract
  • Account
  • Author
  • Creation Date
  • Descriptive Name
  • Descriptive Type
  • Keywords
  • Revision Date
  • Subject
  • Typist

There are several methods that can be used to access this information:

Method 1:

1. Launch WordPerfect 9
2. Click File, Open and select the document.
3. Click File, Properties.
4. Select the Summary tab.

Method 2:

1. Click on Start, Programs, Windows Explorer.
2. Navigate to the document, and right-click on the document.
3. Select Properties from the context senstive menu.
4. Select the Summary

It may be possible to use a Visual Basic for Applications macro or other program code to read the properties shown under the Summary tab.

To clear summary information from an existing document or template by perform
the following steps:

1. Launch WordPerfect 9.
2. Click on File, Open and select the desired document or template.
3. Click on File, Properties.
4. Select the Summary tab, and clear the Author, Typist, and any other edit
boxes that should not be distributed with the document. To clear all
information from the summary, click the Options button, and select to Delete
Summary from Document.
5. When finished, click OK.
6. Click File, Save on the File menu.
7. Click File, and Close from the File menu.
8. After completing these steps, the document should not contain any summary
properties.

How to remove Comments from WordPerfect documents

WordPerfect has the ability to add comments to documents. Typically, comments contain the name of the person who created them or additional information about the document such as time and date it was created. Comments are typically indicated in the left margin next to the line where the comment was inserted.

To remove comments:

1. Right-click and select delete from the menu.
2. Click View, reveal codes and drag the Comment tag out of the window.

If you add new comments and you do not wish them to contain your username or initials, make sure that these values are not entered in the environment settings for WordPerfect.

How to remove information in Headers and Footers

Headers and footers in documents may contain identifying information. To remove information from headers and footers:

1. Click Insert, Header/Footer from the menu.
2. Select to edit the Header or Footer.
3. Remove any information that should not be sent with the document.

How to remove document Revision Annotations

WordPerfect documents may contain revision marks when a document has been reviewed by an individual other than the author. When you accept or reject the suggested annotations, the revised text is saved in the document, and the annotation marks are removed.

Steps to accept annotations:

1. Launch WordPerfect
2. Click File, Open and select the document that has been reviewed. A Review Document dialog box will be displayed if the document has been reviewed.
3. Click the Author button.
4. On the document review toolbar, select the button to accept the current annotation or select to accept all annotations in the document.
5. Click on the Close button, and then save the document.

Note: This should remove any revision annotation from the document. Alternatively, saving the document in another file format, such as RTF will remove the revision annotations from the document.

How to disable Slow Save in WordPerfect

The Slow Save feature speeds up the process of saving a document by saving only the changes that are made to a document. This feature has been renamed in WordPerfect Office 2000 [WordPerfect 9] to "Format Document before Saving".

Because of the design of this feature, text that is deleted from a document may remain in the document, even after saving the document. If there is concern about deleted text remaining in a WordPerfect document, enable the formatting of the document before saving:

1. Click on the Tools, settings, and click the Environment icon.
2. Ensure there is a check in the box to "Format Document before Saving".
3. Click OK.

Note: In earlier DOS versions, WordPerfect had a feature called "Fast Save". The feature was reintroduced in Service Pack 4 of Suite 8 but was called "Slow Save". In WordPerfect Office 2000 it was changed to "Format Document before Saving".

How to search for and remove Text Formatted As Hidden

In WordPerfect documents, it is possible to format text as hidden. Hidden text may contain information that should not be distributed, the author of the document may want to unhide or remove it from the document.

To selectively remove hidden text in a document, perform the following steps:
1. Click on View, and select Reveal Codes.
2. Click on Edit, Find and Replace.
3. Click on Match from the menu, and select Codes.
4. Select the [Hidden On] code from the list and select the Insert&Close button.
5. Click on the Find Next button.
6. When a Hidden text code is found, it can be removed by clicking and dragging it out of the Reveal Codes window.

To remove all the hidden text from the document, perform the following steps:
1. Click on View, and select Reveal Codes.
2. Click on Edit, Find and Replace.
3. Click on Match from the menu, and select Codes.
4. Select the [Hidden On] code from the list and select the Insert&Close button.
5. Make sure the Replace with windows says <Nothing>.
6. Click on the Replace All button.

How to remove Hyperlinks from documents

WordPerfect documents may contain hyperlinks to other documents or Web pages on an intranet or the Internet. Hyperlinks typically appear as blue underlined text strings.

To manually delete a single hyperlink from a document:
1. Click on View, and select Reveal Codes.
2. Click on Edit, Find and Replace.
3. Click on Match from the menu, and select Codes.
4. Select the [HyperLink Begin] code from the list and select the Insert&Close button.
5. Click on the Find Next button.
6. When a HyperLink code is found, it can be removed by clicking and dragging it out of the Reveal Codes window.

To remove all hyperlinks in a document:
1. Click on View, and select Reveal Codes.
2. Click on Edit, Find and Replace.
3. Click on Match from the menu, and select Codes.
4. Select the [HyperLink Begin] code from the list and select the Insert&Close button.
5. Make sure the Replace with windows says <Nothing>.
6. Click on the Replace All button.

How to remove Styles from documents

WordPerfect documents may include styles that contain metadata. You can remove these styles and leave the formatting in the document. This will not affect how the document is viewed or printed.

To remove styles:
1. Launch WordPerfect and open the document that contains the styles to be removed.
2. Click on Format, and select Styles.
3. Click on the Options button, and select settings.
4. In the Style Settings dialog box, under Available Styles list make sure only the box Styles in current document is checked off.
5. In the Styles dialog box, select one of the document styles.
6. Click on the Options button, and select Delete from the menu.
7. Under the Delete Style from Document, make sure to enable the radio-button "Leave formatting codes in document".
8. Select all the styles to be removed from the document, and click OK.

How to remove Undo/Redo information from a document

In WordPerfect 8, the option to save undo/redo information to the document was on by default. However, in WordPerfect 9 the option is not on by default. If a document was created with the UNDO/REDO history enabled then that information may be contained in the document.

To disable the UNDO/REDO history:
1. Click on Edit, Undo/Redo history.
2. Click on the Options button.
3. Disable the check box next to Save undo/redo items with document.

Note: The WordPerfect Software Development Kit contains a utility called WPLOOK. [Also available on Corel's FTP site.] It can remove the UNDO/REDO history from a WordPerfect document. It may be a prudent business practice to ensure that all sensitive documents are screened with WPLOOK to ensure the removal of the UNDO/REDO history if it is present.

How to remove Links from OLE linked objects

OLE Linked images and other objects in WordPerfect documents may contain linking information, such as the path to the linked image or object. This information can be removed from the document by terminating the link.

To remove the OLE link:
1. Launch WordPerfect
2. Click on File, Open and select the document with the linked object.
3. Click on Edit, and select Links.
4. Select the objects from the list.
5. Click Break Link button.
6. When prompted, click YES to break the OLE link.

This will terminate the OLE link between the object and the associated application. Removing the link from an image or object may cause it to be uneditable.

Embedded objects within documents may contain metadata

If an object is embedded within a document, the object still retains its own properties, regardless of what is done to the document. This includes any information not visible in the OLE box window in the document.

Publishing documents to PDF

You can eliminate metadata in WordPerfect documents by publishing the document in Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF documents can be shared across platforms and office suites, without the need to develop multiple documents. Before saving a document as a PDF, however, you still have to remove potential metadata.

To save a document as a PDF:

1. Click File, Publish to PDF
2. Click the General tab
3. Remove any text from the Author and Keywords boxes