How to print out E-mails from Outlook without my name on it.
May 13, 2010 2:09 PM   Subscribe

How to print out E-mails from Outlook without my name at the top.

Hi, I'm a lawyer working on a case with evidence from E-mail messages. When I open them, they open into Outlook and my name is at the top. I don't want that to appear there for many reasons. How can I make it either appear with the name of the original person to whom it was sent or with no name at all? I"m running Outlook '07 on a Toshiba laptop, if it matters.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can't you just copy and paste the original messages into a word document?

Alternatively, can you go to options-->mail setup and define a new, un-named user, switch to that user on that preference pane, and then print as that user? Theoretically, the name could be blank that way (though I can't check this; don't have privileges).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:36 PM on May 13, 2010

Are the e-mails more than one page long?

If not, open the message, stretch the window until you can see everything, then hit Alt-PrinScn to copy the window's screenshot to the clipboard.

Open MSPaint, paste the image, then draw a big black line over the stuff you want to redact. Print it out and you should be good.
posted by jquinby at 2:38 PM on May 13, 2010

Also, this looks interesting. There seems to be a trial version (har, har) available. Dunno what it costs, though.
posted by jquinby at 2:40 PM on May 13, 2010

I think redacting may raise more questions, as the OP may have to explain why portions of the evidence are redacted. If the issue is just that the OP doesn't want his/her name to be at the top of every piece of email between the heads of an international child pornography ring or something, I think he/she is right just to want the name blank.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:58 PM on May 13, 2010

I second this question -- I've always wondered how to do this when I'm printing out outlook emails for discovery/exhibit purposes.
posted by seventyfour at 4:07 PM on May 13, 2010

Try editing the "memo style" page format to make the header font (or title font) to an invisible color, or just 1 point in size.
posted by gjc at 5:17 PM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Welcome to the world of eDiscovery.

If you are contemplating producing printed copies of email in discovery and are in federal court, pay close attention to Rule 34(b)(2)(E) which discusses the "default" form of production of electronically stored information. Preferred Care Partners v. Humana, 258 F.R.D. 684 (S.D. Fla. 2009) is a recent case that discusses the omissions of printed copies of emails. I've referred colleagues to Aguilar v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division, 2008 WL 5062700 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 21, 2008) as a primer on types of (potentially relevant) metadata not present in a paper production of email.

Even if you are not in federal court, be aware that many state courts have adopted or are adopting similar rules. As a panelist mentioned in the Duke Civil Litigation Conference earlier this week, there are great "asymmetries of competence" among the bench and bar on eDiscovery issues.

If you are a lawyer in a large firm, you may want to talk to your litigation support department. They should have data processing tools which will extract metadata, produce selected metadata in a form that standard litigation support tools can import, and render images of the emails without that pesky header.

The reason I'm bringing this up (besides the fact that I do this stuff for a living) is that I've seen junior associates on a big case get tripped up because they didn't know about internal firm resources, or were operating in "crisis" mode and hadn't taken the time to consult with lit support or paralegals who had run prior productions, or were working directly with a partner who delegates discovery down to the lowest level and who hasn't done any of this stuff himself.

If you are in a small case in state court in which no one knows (or cares) about eDiscovery or metadata, and you have a small amount of emails to print/produce/use, manual redaction of the Outlook header may be the simplest. You could make a credible argument that the name information on the top is NOT information (metadata) present in the original and thus has no evidentiary value (and its redaction does not constitute redaction of any information from the original content). This sort of begs the question why you're not producing the original custodian metadata, however.

Also note, if you tinker with the memo style formatting and change the font to background or make it microscopic, and you produce PDF images, the text of "your" name will still appear in the extracted text associated with the document.

This previous AskMe question has some good advice (creating a dummy profile); however, if your firm implementation of Outlook is locked down you may not be able to create the new profile easily.

FWIW, I remember back in the dark ages (2001?) when I was working on one of my first big cases at a large firm, the case team had the word processing pool manually print emails from Outlook. The woman who did the bulk of the work (and whose name appeared on the top of the page) got noticed up for a deposition.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 7:30 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Interesting stuff, QuantumMeruit. Thanks for posting.

I had an additional exchange with the OP over MeMail, in which I suggested msgviewer, a third-party program that opens .msg (and I think .pst) files created by Outlook, without needing Outlook and without an Outlook profile. Here's the program, and there's a free version; each has a trial mode, too.

Happily, the OP reports that msgviewer suits his/her needs, and apparently everything is printing just as he/she wanted.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:39 PM on May 14, 2010

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