How to Edit Document Properties in Excel (Step-by-Step)

Document Properties in Excel are a set of data that describe the document.

This information includes the author, title, company name, and other information about the document (such as the file size or date of creation).

Document properties are also referred to as metadata.

Excel allows you to edit document properties that allow the users to get more information about the Excel files and also generates some of the document properties (such as file size or date) that help you sort and organize your files using Windows File Explorer.

In this tutorial, we will go through what document properties are. 

In addition, we will show you how to edit some of the standard document properties of an Excel workbook.

We will then use these document properties in order to organize Excel files using Windows File Explorer.

Different Types of Document Properties in an Excel File

It’s helpful to understand the different types of document properties, in order to know more about what you can actually edit:

Standard Properties

Every Office document has a set of standard properties. These include the title, author, category, etc.

You can change these and enter your own text values for these property fields. Editing these fields can help you locate and identify your files when they are stored in folders.

Automatically Updated Properties

These are properties that the Office system auto-generates for you.

You cannot edit ‘Automatically Updated Properties’.

These properties include the size of your file, and the date when your file was created and/or modified. These are again useful in organizing your files based on size or date of creation.

I find this extremely useful when I want to quickly sort and get the files that were modified recently. This is made possible because this property value is automatically generated by the Office Application.

Custom Properties

These are additional properties, which a user can define for the Excel file. So if you need to add some information apart from what is already available in the standard and automatic properties, you can add Custom properties.

For example, if you’re working on a project, you may want to add a department property where you can specify what file contains the data of what department.

There are some pre-defined custom properties such as Department, Destination, or Date completed, and you can also create your own custom properties.

Excel allows you to choose whether you want to enter a text value, Date, Number, or Yes/No.

Document Library Properties

If you have created a document library and defined properties and rules for that library, then each file that you add should have those same properties. You will have to edit or correct the files if that is not the case.

In most cases, you only need to know about the Standard and Automatic document properties. I have rarely seen anyone work with Custom or Document Library Properties (in my personal experience)

How to View the Document Properties in Excel

Below are the steps to view all the document properties of a new blank Excel workbook.

  1. Create a new Blank workbook.
  2. Go to the File Tab, and select Info.
Click on Info
  1. You should see the Properties section, on the right-hand side.
Document properties in Excel
  1. To see all the Properties, click the Show All Properties option.
click the Show All Properties option
  1. You should now see a complete list of all the properties associated with the workbook.
All properties of the Excel file

Note that since I created a new blank workbook and have not saved it yet, some of the properties are not yet available, such as the File size or the Last Modified date

How to Edit/Change the Standard Document Properties

As I mentioned earlier, Standard Document properties in Excel are editable and you can change them.

In this section, I will cover some of the common Standard document properties that you can change.

Changing the Title of the Workbook

To add a title to the workbook, do the following.

  1. Place the cursor in the Title textbox and enter the title of your choice. We will enter Sales Data.
Enter the title value

Note: The title and the name of your workbook don’t have to be the same.

Adding a Tag to the Workbook

To add a tag to the workbook, do the following.

  1. Place the cursor in the Tags textbox and enter a tag that describes your workbook. We will enter Sales.
Enter the Tags value

Adding Company Name to the Workbook

To add a Company name to the workbook, do the following.

  1. Place the cursor in the Company textbox and enter the name of your company or the company of interest. We will enter Company ABB.
Add the Company name

Specify the Manager of the Document

If you need to specify the Manager, then do the following. 

  1. In the Related People section, in the Manager textbox enter the name Al Wu.
Enter the manager name

Remove the Existing Manager/Author of the Workbook

To remove the existing Manager or Author of the workbook, do the following.

  1. Right-click the existing Manager entry.
Right click on existing manager name
  1. Select Remove Person.
Click on Remove person
  1. You should see the following.
Manager name removed

Change the Name of the Author

The author is automatically added based on your username.

However, you can edit this or remove the author. If you would like to change the name of the author, do the following.

  1. Right-click the current author entry. Select Edit Property.
Select Edit Property
  1. Using the Edit person Dialog Box, change the name of the author. In this case, we will enter Jonathan Goodman and then click Ok.
Enter the name of the person
  1. You should see the following.
Author name changed

How to See the Automatically Updated Properties

Save the workbook, and give it a name.

In this case, we named the workbook JuneSales.

We saved the file in a folder on our drive called CompanyData.

  1. Now go to the File Tab and select the Info option. You should see that Size, Last Modified, Created and Last Modified By have been updated automatically by the Office system.

In addition, you now have the option to open the file location.

Automatically updated properties
  1. These fields will be updated by the Office system, every time you work on the workbook and save the workbook.

How to Set the Custom Properties in Excel

To set the Custom Properties of the workbook, do the following.

  1. Go to the File Tab and click on the Info option.
  2. Select the drop-down arrow next to Properties. Choose the Advanced Properties option.
Click on Advanced Properties
  1. You should see the Properties dialog box.
Properties dialog box
  1. You can edit the standard Properties if you choose to from this Window as well. However, in this case, we will select the Custom Tab.
Click the Custom tab
  1. Select Checked by. Under Type: choose Text and as the Value enter Lisa Ang.
Enter Checked by custom property
  1. You should see the following after clicking the Add button.
Custom property added
  1. Click Ok.

Sort and Filter Your Files Using Document Properties

To sort Excel files using the Windows File Explorer, through document properties that we added, do the following.

  1. Go to the File Tab and choose Info. Click on the Open file location button.
Click on the Open file location button
  1. We see the following.
file location opened
  1. We also see the standard sorting options which are Name, Date Modified, Type, and Size. We want to organize by Tags, since we have tagged all our Excel files in this folder with the appropriate tag.
  1. So, select the View tab and ensure in the Layout Group, that the Details Option is selected.
Select the Details option
  1. Now click on the ‘Sort by’ drop-down arrow and select Choose Columns…
click on the 'Sort by' drop-down
  1. You should see the following.
Choose details dialog box
  1. Scroll down and check the Tags option.
Check the Tags option
  1. Click Ok.
  1. You should see that Tags have been added as a potential sorting option.
Tags added as a column
  1. By default, the sort is ascending, but if you click on Tags, it will change to descending order.
You can change the sorting order of the tags

Now we want to filter and see only the workbooks that have been tagged with the Sales tag.

  1. Hover over the Tags option, to see the drop-down arrow.
Hover over the Tags option
  1. Click on the drop-down arrow to see the following options.
Click on the drop down
  1. Check the Sales option.
Check the Sales option.
  1. Now the only files that should be shown in the folder are the ones that are tagged with the Sales tag. The drop-down arrow has also been replaced by a tick to show that there is a filter.
Only sales tagged files are shown

To remove the filter, do the following.

  1. Click on the tick, next to the Tags option.
Uncheck the tags option
  1. Uncheck Sales and you should see all the files in the folder.
Uncheck sales to see all files

Removing Document Properties 

To remove the document properties from your Excel workbook, do the following.

  1. Go to the File Tab and select Info.
  2. Select ‘Check for Issues’ and then click on ‘Inspect Document’.
click on 'Inspect Document'
  1. You should see the Document Inspector Window. Click the Inspect button.
click the inspect button
  1. You should see the following.
Document inspector
  1. So, to remove the Document Properties, click the Remove All button.
Click on remove all button
  1. You should see the following.
Confirmation that document properties were removed
  1. Click Close.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we have given you a comprehensive overview of how to view and edit document properties in Excel.

This is a useful skill to know if you want to organize and filter your files using Windows File Explorer. 

If for some reason, you don’t want your Excel file to show any personal information such as the author, then you can also remove the document properties.

Other articles you may also like: