How do I retrieve Microsoft Office file metadata?
January 31, 2004 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a program that will display metadata from Microsoft Office files (such as revisions from Autosave, track changes, etc.)? My searching has documented the range of metadata that is available and I have located numerous programs for removing the data, but nothing that will allow me to retrieve the data easily. I am looking for something a little more advanced than Notepad.
posted by ajr to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
The only free utility that I know of is strings.
posted by cmonkey at 2:31 PM on January 31, 2004

There is a remote possibility that the people that develop Poi's HPSF libraries have some kind of test app for this. HPSF is a a bunch of Java for reading and editing MS Office document metadata.
posted by jeb at 4:14 PM on January 31, 2004

You could look at offices's object model and try your hand VBA.

Word 2000
Word XP

In XP you will be looking for: (page 3)
documents.document.range.revisions (page 4)

To navigate: in the left menu bar - Office Solutions Development - then select the version of office you have.

This is a good backgrounder on using VBA Working with Microsoft Word Objects
posted by srboisvert at 8:43 PM on January 31, 2004

Thanks everyone. cmonkey: forgive my ignorance, but it has been a long time since i've worked at the DOS prompt. When running the string command I get a bunch of information, but it scrolls up the screen before I can read it. Using "/p" after the string.exe command doesn't work. Is there a command that I can use to write the output to a text file, or something similar?

srboisvert: I also claim my ignorance regarding VBA. I know that Windows ships with an error checker, etc., is that something that I can use to try this VBA, or do I need to purchase a program. Thanks.
posted by ajr at 9:46 PM on January 31, 2004

ajr, use output redirection e.g. C:\>command > filename.ext

The Visual Basic Editor is part of MS Office. From the Word menu, choose Tools / Macro / Visual Basic Editor. You may need to install it of course, but I believe it came with all Office versions since '95.
posted by cbrody at 9:51 AM on February 1, 2004

Excellent! Many thanks cbrody, the output redirection worked like a charm and the VBA editor is loaded and ready for action.
posted by ajr at 10:17 AM on February 1, 2004

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