Viewing Authors In .docx File

Posted on 2014-02-19
Last Modified: 2014-03-19
I received a .docx document in an email and am needing want to figure out who the author was of the file.  When viewing the details of the file they have deleted the author and who it was last saved by.  Is there any way to still find that information via another program etc...?

Question by:ollybuba
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LVL 76

Accepted Solution

GrahamSkan earned 168 total points
ID: 39871062
If  it were found to be possible to restore deleted metadata such as Author, then it would be a bug, and Microsoft would come under pressure to fix it.
LVL 54

Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 166 total points
ID: 39871091
If the Author field is empty in Document Properties in Word (or in Properties>Details in your file manager), the answer is NO — there's no way to find out who the Author is. Regards, Joe
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

DrTribos earned 166 total points
ID: 39873095
How badly do you want this?  Does it have to be for the actual document sent?

if the author saved this as a version you might be able to find a previous version that still retails the information you need - or at least clues...  but for that you would have to ask the person who sent it to you for their help...  or if you can search a network for the file name...

Failing that I think you will be out of luck.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 39931359
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39931360
I believe there is enough information to confirm an answer.

The question is, "Is there any way to still find that information [the Author] via another program?"

The answer is NO. That's not the answer that the asker wants to hear, but that is the answer. If any other EE members have the same question, they would be well-served to find this thread in the PAQ. It should not be deleted.

I believe that GrahamSkan's answer in post http:#a39871062 is the best and should be the Accepted Solution with 500 points. The other two posts (http:#a39871091 and http:#a39873095) essentially confirm GrahamSkan's answer and could be Assisted Solutions, but it's not necessary. Regards, Joe
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 39931876
Hi Joe - 2 answers say NO and 1 answer says not from the file you have, but here are some possible ways to track down an author.  

Actually the question was:
Is there any way to still find that information via another program etc...?

The answer is Maybe, not NO.  It depends on if ollybuba has access to a network with archived copies or could ask someone.
LVL 76

Expert Comment

ID: 39931930
Oh dear, LeeTutor, You have my sympathy.

I've done that job in the past, and I believe that it is the most problematic task that a volunteer can do.

If you have a contact in the particular expertise, then I suggest that you bounce any problematic  questions in that direction.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 39931932
Hi Lee you have my sympathy too :-)
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 39940994
Hi SouthMod,

Call me pedantic... here is my interpretation...

The OP recieved a file by email.  The OP notes the file has no 'author information'.  The OP asks: is there a way to get that information.

We don't know what the file is, but is it possible that the file might be available on the internet.  The OP might google for a passage from the file and might well get lucky and stumble across the same file with the clues as to who the author is.

What about the sender, did the author think to ask?  Is it possible that the sender cleaned a copy for distribution, unknowingly erasing information that the OP needs? Could the OP ask the sender to check their original file for the author.

The sender may be helpful but not know who the author was / is.  Is it possible that the sender might not think of searching their intranet for a different version?

I think the spirit of the question is can I find out who the author is, I don't see any reason to put ourselves in unhelpful boxes and say sorry mate can't be done with software so it can't be done.  

There is an old saying... if the only tool you have is a hammer then you'll see every problem as a nail.

I would agree that the OP probably had in mind some forensic interrogation of the file they had recieved.  However a forensic examination of the file, (no matter how they phrase the question or which zone they put it in), is NOT what they want.  What they really want is to know who the author is.

I would strongly disagree that forensic interrogation of the file is the only way to get the information and I strongly disagree that the answer is no until all other avenues have been exhausted.


[EDIT: PS I'm not making a grab for points here, just making a point - I'd be happy enough for this question to be deleted.]
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 39941544
And that's fine with me. Cheers,

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