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Metadata Tips for Microsoft Word, Text, and Photographs

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Metadata Tips for Microsoft Word, Text, and Photographs

Presentation to:

The San Francisco Chapter of

the Society for Technical Communicators

Cheryl Hunt

September 21, 2011

What Is Metadata and Why Use it?


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There Are Two Types of Metadata:

  • Structural Metadata:

    • The design and specification of data structures.

    • “Data about the containers of data”

  • Descriptive Metadata:

    • About specific datacontent.

    • “Data about content”

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata


Knowing Structural Metadata Helps Systems Work Together

  • Programs “talk” directly to other programs.

  • Systems understand each other’s structure.

  • Third parties can import and export data between systems.

  • Searches run simultaneously across data silos.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata_publishing


Benefits of Using Content Metadata

  • More accurate searches.

  • Describes content and context to applications and people.

  • Applications can act on metadata to provide services automatically.

  • Promotes the use of a controlled vocabulary across departments and disciplines, aiding communication.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata_publishing


Use Metadata To Identify Content and Make it Searchable

If you can’t find it, it might as well not exist.

~ Paraphrase of Barbara Quint, Editor, Search Magazine, 1994

Authors spend half their time looking for content to reuse that they can’t find.

~ According to Author-it (Component Content Management Webcast, August, 2011)


Metadata Examples in Microsoft: Word, Text, and Images


Some Metadata Is Saved by Default


Hover Your Mouse Over the File Name To See Basic Metadata


Right-Click File Name To Access Properties - Then Again To Open


Word Files Have 3 Property Tabs: General, Custom, and Summary


The General Tab Has Mostly Basic Default Metadata


The General Tab Has Some Advanced File Options


The Summary Tab Holds Basic Author Defined Metadata

  • Title

  • Subject

  • Author

  • Category

  • Keywords

    • Separate with commas

  • Comments

    • A Text Area


Use The Summary’s Advanced Button To Display and Enter More Information


The Custom Tab Is Only Available for Word – Not for Text or Images


Names and Types of Default Custom Properties


Enter Default Custom Properties and Values in4 Steps


Add Your Own Properties With These 4 Steps


Text Files Have All General and Summary Metadata Properties


Image Files Also Have All General and Summary Metadata Properties


Use These To Organize Your Metadata


Controlled Vocabulary

A way to organize knowledge for later retrieval

Uses predefined, authorized terms

Used in headings, key words, and indexes


  • The practice and science of classification

  • A hierarchical structure

  • A classification scheme

  • Many Supertype-subtype relationships (ie:parent-child)

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy


Tips for Starting To Organize

Create a Taxonomy

Create a Controlled Vocabulary

Keep a Working List

Save in Excel Files

Use Extension *.csv

Automatically Adds Commas To Separate the Words

Open With Notepad

Examples Online


  • Look at Your File Structure

  • Use The Dewey Decimal System for Inspiration

    • 000 Generalities

    • 100 Philosophy & psychology

    • 200 Religion

    • 300 Social sciences

    • 400 Language

    • 500 Natural sciences & mathematics

  • Examples Online

    • http:// www.e-mapsys.com/Taxonomy1.htm


Word Only Tips To Save on Typing

  • Macros

    • http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/create-a-macro-HP005189420.aspx

  • Auto Text

    • http://www.uwec.edu/help/Word07/AUTO-text.htm

  • Both must be entered in the body, then cut and pasted to the properties


Microsoft on How To Remove Metadata With More Information

  • In Legal Documents:


  • Office 2003:


  • Office 2007:



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