You have to be careful with electronic documents or you might get surprised by the surprises in them.
The most recent example comes from the U.S. military’s recent embarrassment after giving the media a redacted version of a PDF document that wasn’t properly prepared and secured, leaving the blacked out portions quite revealable. Oops.
David Coursey’s article, U.S. Military’s PDF Fiasco Was Avoidable, gives a crystal clear explanation of how the problem arose and, even better, what you can do to avoid the problem. Highly recommended reading.
A few days ago, I was working on a Word document prepared by someone else. When I tried to save a copy, I got the alert that the document contained tracked changes. You haven’t turned on that setting in Word? Shame, shame, shame. I checked to see what was causing the alert and found the document contained headers prominently using the word “CONFIDENTIAL” and clearly came from a document previously done for a third party. Oops. Fortunately for the author(s), this did not happen in a legal document, but it was embarrasing.
The next day, someone who knows all about these issues sent me a set of PowerPoint slides whose document properties indicated an author with a different name. Oops.
It’s probably impossible to completely prevent these types of things from happening, but a few changes to your settings and a little training can go a long way.
I’d like to tell you what settings to change and other steps to take, but then I wouldn’t have as much fun when you sent documents, would I?
Read the Coursey article. That’s a mistake that you don’t want to make and one that is all too easy to make.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]