Privacy Options

The Privacy Options category is a catchall category for a number of settings loosely related to privacy and/or security that didn't fit into any of the other Trust Center categories. The settings in the Privacy Options category are shown in Figure 22-12.

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Trusted Publishers

Privacy Options

Trusted Locations

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connected to the Internet PI Update featured links from Microsoft Office Online <

ActiveX Settings

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Macro Settings


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Eternal Content

Document-specific settings

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Research & Reference

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Figure 22-12

The settings in the Privacy Options category have no use in or effect on VBA programs, so they are not covered in this section. What are covered in this section are the new RemoveDocumentlnformation method and Documentlnspectors collection. Because the Excel user interface corresponding to these new VBA capabilities is located in the Privacy Options category, it is examined here briefly.

The Document Inspector is a new feature of Office that allows you to search all the places in your document where items of personal information might be stored and then remove those items. In the Trust Center, if you click the Document Inspector button, the dialog in Figure 22-13 will be displayed.

You can choose which areas of your workbook you want to inspect and then click the Inspect button to begin the process. The Document Inspector will analyze your workbook and produce a report of its findings, using the dialog shown in Figure 22-14.

If the Document Inspector locates data in any of the places you directed it to analyze, it will give you the option to remove that data. When using the Document Inspector, keep in mind that it is not smart. It cannot tell the difference between data critical to your document and unwanted personal information. The Document Inspector simply removes all data from the specified place if you click the Remove All button.

Document Inspector (U©

To check the document for the selected content, click Inspect.

Inspects the document for comments and ink annotations.

0 Document Properties and Personal Information

Inspects for hidden metadata or personal information saved with the document.

Inspects for custom XML data stored with this document.

Inspects the workbook for information in headers and footers.

Inspects the workbook for hidden rows and columns.

Inspects the workbook for hidden worksheets.

Inspects the workbook for objects that are not visible because they have been formatted as invisible. This does not include objects that are covered by other objects.

J_ Inspect 1 1 Close

Document Inspector _CLJ£j

Review the inspection results.

No items were found.


Document Properties and Personal Information

The following document information was found: * Document properties

[ Remove All )

No custom XML data was found.

No headers or footers were found.

No hidden rows or columns containing data were found.

No hidden worksheets found.

No invisible objects found.

,f\ Note: Some changes cannot be undone.

You can probably see that, from the perspective of an Excel developer, the Document Inspector looks like a very dangerous thing. If a user has unfettered access to your application workbook and that workbook contains critical information in hidden rows, columns, or worksheets, the Document Inspector can easily strip that data out, leaving the workbook crippled.

Fortunately, there is a simple way to prevent the Document Inspector from destroying your workbook. If there are any protected worksheets in a workbook, it will prevent the Document Inspector from running on the workbook. Therefore, to protect your workbooks from the Document Inspector, make sure they contain at least one protected worksheet. This worksheet doesn't need to contain any critical data, and it can even be hidden from the user.

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