13 Things You Didn’t Know About Word: Properties

Like other Office software, Word includes a feature which isn’t exactly obvious, but potentially very helpful. It’s the Properties section.

“Properties” refers to the attributes of a document – what some people call the “metadata”, ie the data which isn’t necessarily part of the document content, but which describes the document in various ways. Thus, the name of the person who wrote the document is an example of a property, as is any keywords you might use to describe the document.

So, click on the Office Home button, which looks like this:

Then click on Prepare—> Properties.

There are more Properties options not shown here

So why is this feature useful? Two reasons. Firstly, it makes finding the document a lot easier. If you’re anything like me, you sometimes forget the name by which you’ve saved the document. Well, if you remember, for example, that it was about Word, or it was a how-to document, you could look for the document using one of those terms. So you would obtain a result like this:

(It’s more reliable if you know where to look, by the way.)

Secondly, it can help you establish ownership. A month or so ago I was looking for something on the internet, and came across a document which looked rather familiar. I looked in the Properties, and sure enough, there was my name! I was able to email the website owner and ask him to remove it, which he did.

It takes a few minutes to fill in the Properties data, but it’s definitely a useful habit to cultivate.