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Excel I am a Lobbyist Writing Policy Papers for the White House

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I am a Lobbyist Writing Policy Papers
for the White House

Problem: I was so embarrassed when some computer guru discovered that I left my name in the Document Properties dialog. The press traced that press release from the White House back to my lobbying firm. Who knew that Excel stored secret hidden information?

Strategy: There are dozens of places where data can get hidden in Excel. The new Document Inspector can find 90% of them. Before you try to pass your work off as someone else’s work, try to cover your tracks.

To look for hidden data in your workbook, run the Document Inspector. In Excel 2010, use File, Info, X, Inspect Document. In Excel 2007, select Office Icon, Prepare, Inspect Document.

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Figure 122 Inspect the document.

Excel will look for all the situations shown below.

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Figure 123 Excel helps sneaky people cover their tracks.

Gotcha: The Document Inspector finds a lot of hidden data, but not all hidden data. For example, if you hid data by formatting with a white font, or if you used the ;;; custom number format, it will not detect either of these. Further, some personal information might be stored in the Manage Names dialog. The Document Inspector will not discover this information. The figure below shows a cell with white font and another cell formatted with ;;;. As you can see, the Document Inspector reports neither of these.

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Figure 124 Invisible content didn’t find this white font.

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