For any document, Word creates certain types of metadata about the document. It stores them as document properties.
These properties are standard with fixed names. You cannot change them—these are the Document’s Title, Author name, Keywords, and Comments. Other properties store statistical data about your document. These include file size, date, and time you last printed or saved the document.
Word updates these properties automatically, and you cannot edit them.
Apart from the standard document properties, Word also has custom properties.
As the name implies, you can add and modify custom document properties. By default, Word does not add any custom document property by itself.
However, you can add your own custom properties to your document. For this, you must assign a name, a data type, and a value to each custom property you are adding. Word offers a choice of four data types for each custom property—Text, Date, Number, and Yes or No.
Word also adds document library properties. These are related to documents stored on a website, a document library, or a public folder.
The necessity for Document Properties
As such, you will not be able to see any document property in the content of the document. But, you can insert their value into the document’s content. You can insert the value of any standard or custom property.
You may have a piece of text that repeats within the document. This presents a potential use for document properties. By inserting custom document properties, you can quickly automate your document. This ensures what you are entering in your document repeatedly is consistent and accurate.
For instance, you can add the document Title property in the Header on each page. You can also add it as text in the document. When you change a document property, the document’s content will change.
Document properties are flexible. Word allows you to control them outside the content of the main document. This is an advantage when your document is large.
How to View Document Properties
To see document properties, open your document. Click on the Files tab in the top menu bar. This will open the Files menu with two panes, left and right. In the left pane, click on the Info tab. In the right panel, Word displays the document properties.
To see more properties, click on Show All Properties at the bottom of the right pane.
In the right-hand pane, click on Properties. This will show another tab, Advanced Properties. Click on Advanced Properties to open the Properties dialog box.
You will see five tabs:
General — Standard data about document’s origin, its creation, modification, and access.
Summary — Custom date about document, you can fill in the blanks.
Statistics — Statistical data about the document.
Contents — Data about the document’s contents.
Custom — Data you can add to the document properties.
Once you have added the above information, Word will show these document properties in the Info screen.
We have given a brief introduction about document properties in MS Word and how you can use them.