|C H A P T E R 23||Part 5 Using Microsoft Office Throughout Your Organization||Microsoft Office Resource Kit|
|Tracking Collaboration with Document Properties|
This chapter describes document properties, which you can use to record information about Microsoft Office documents such as the author and subject.
For more information about searching for document properties, see Chapter 26, "Finding Microsoft Office Documents on the Network."
In organizations where people collaborate on documents, it is helpful to create a tracking sheet to record who did what work on a document. But the tracking sheet serves its purpose only if it is accessible to everyone who handles the document and if it stays attached to the document. A better solution is to save notes about the status of a document within the document itself. The Office applications include a feature called document properties that allows you to do this.
You can record descriptions of Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and Office Binder documents and save those descriptions, or properties, with the documents. Because the document properties are part of the document, they travel with the document wherever it is stored. Anyone who edits the document can also edit its properties.
Document properties also help you locate documents on the network. Office 97 for Windows includes search capabilities built into the Open dialog box (File menu) and through Web Find Fast. Web Find Fast is usable by both Office 97 for Windows and Office 98 for the Macintosh. These search capabilities work with document properties. For example, you can specify the subject of a Word document, and later search for all documents with that subject. Microsoft Outlook can also use document properties cached in a Find Fast index to speed up property displays when displaying Office documents in table views. For more information about searching for Office documents, see Chapter 26, "Finding Microsoft Office Documents on the Network."
Note Unless otherwise noted, information in this chapter applies to Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, hereafter referred to as the Office applications. The document properties described in this chapter do not apply to Outlook. When Office documents are displayed in table view in Outlook, however, you can use the search and filtering options to find the document properties or create custom views of collections of documents based on their properties. Outlook Express for the Macintosh does not support any type of Office document searching or viewing.
The Office applications save some document properties automatically. For example, if the Author and Company properties are specified during Setup, the Office applications record these properties when a document is saved.
A user who opens a document can search its document properties through the Open and Advanced Search dialog boxes (File menu).
|| To view a document's properties
If you enter values in the fields on the Summary tab in the Properties dialog box (File menu), you and other users can search for those values through the Open or Advanced Search dialog boxes. Since document properties make documents easier to find, recommend to your workgroup that they enter document properties for all their documents. To help ensure that this happens, you can set PowerPoint and Word to prompt for summary information whenever a user initially saves a document.
To always prompt for summary information (PowerPoint or Word)
Similarly, you can set Excel to prompt for summary information when a user saves a workbook for the first time.
To always prompt for summary information (Excel)
Note This option is not available in Office Binder.
All of the Office applications include the document properties
found on the Summary tab in the
Properties dialog box (File menu). Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Office Binder also include a Custom tab on which you assign values to additional document properties or create new properties. Custom properties allow you to record more detailed information about a document such as the document number, editor, and date completed.
You can also create custom properties that meet the needs of your workgroup. Custom properties can take the following data types:
As a document moves through a workgroup, the people who handle the document record information about its history and status on the Custom tab in the Properties dialog box (File menu). Custom properties appear in the Properties box in the order they are added with the first property at the top of the list. Since custom properties are saved with the document, they cannot become separated from the document.
not open an Office 97 or 98 document in an earlier version of
an Office application and then add a custom property to the
document. Doing so can damage the document.
To assign a value to a custom property
In addition to using the builtin custom properties, you can create your own custom properties.
To create a new custom property
You can link the value of a custom property to a value in the document. As the value changes, so does the custom property to which it is linked. When the document is closed, the current value to which the custom property is linked is saved as a document property. You can link only certain types of data in each Office application.
To link a custom property to a value in the document
The specified value must be a named cell or range in Excel, selected text in PowerPoint, or a bookmark in Word.
– or –
Type the name of a new custom property.
Because the custom property is linked to a value in the document, the Type box is not available. In the Properties box, linked custom properties have a Chain icon next to their name to indicate that they are linked.
|This application||Can link a custom property to this value|
|Excel||A named cell or range within the active workbook. If you link a custom property to a named range, Excel displays the value in the upperleft corner of the range in the Properties dialog box.|
|PowerPoint||Text on a slide in the active presentation (the text must be selected first).|
|Word||A bookmark within the active document.|
Hiding Document Properties for Documents in Public Folders
You can hide properties of documents posted to a Microsoft Exchange public folder by using the underscore character as the first character of the property name. For example, you may want to create a property strictly for selection purposes, such as EmployeesEarningGreaterthan80K, which you would never want to appear.
You can make the
property invisible in the Exchange viewer by including an
underscore character as the first character of the string —
for example, _EmployeesEarningGreaterthan80K. The underscore does
not cause the Property dialog box to hide the property.
Rather, it indicates to an application that reads properties, such
as the Exchange Server, that it should not display the
Office uses a standard set of document properties across all applications. In addition, users can define a wide variety of custom properties. Document properties are stored with the document file.
The properties stored with a document are accessible to any application that supports OLE. For example, when a user drags an Excel worksheet into a Word document, the user can manipulate the worksheet properties through Word.
Office applications include the following sets of document properties:
These standard properties are familiar to users of Office 4.x; they appear in the Summary Info dialog box (File menu in Office 4.x).
These properties provide an enhanced set of properties, beyond those found in the Summary Information set.
These properties are defined by the user. This allows users to create any property they want with any name they want.
For each of the Office applications, the Properties dialog box (File menu) includes the following tabs:
The following sections list the name of each document property by tab.
General properties include the following items:
Summary properties include the following items:
Statistics properties include the following:
The value displayed here is derived from the property ID and not from the operating system, as on the General tab. The value on the General tab tells when the document was created on the computer and is not necessarily when the document was created absolutely (for example, if it was created on one computer and then copied to another computer).
This Wordonly property is new in Office 97 (Windows) and Office 98 (Macintosh).
|Tip In Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0, you can use a system policy to disable the total editing time property for all PowerPoint and Word users in your workgroup. In the System Policy Editor, set the following policies:|
User\PowerPoint 97\Miscellaneous\No Edit Time
User\Word 97\Miscellaneous\No Edit Time
For more information, see "Using Windows System Policies to Customize Office" in Chapter 7, "Customizing and Optimizing Microsoft Office."
The Contents tab stores names of the different sections in the document (documents in a binder, sheet names in a workbook, slide titles in a presentation, and so forth).
The Custom tab provides an interface for users to create their own properties, which are either constants stored in the property stream or are linked to some document content, such as PowerPoint text, a Word bookmark, or an Excel named range. For more information about creating custom properties, see "Creating Custom Document Properties" earlier in this chapter.
Userdefined property names are stored separately from other
properties so that users cannot create conflicts by giving a Custom
property the same name as a Summary Information or Document Summary
Information property. For example, the property Author already
exists as a Summary Information property, but a user could also
create a custom property named Author. These names are stored
separately in the property list and displayed on separate tabs in
the Properties dialog box.