Each Word document (as well as the other Office 2003 documents) has properties. A property is information related to a particular document, such as the author's name and creation date. If you do not specify properties, Word adds its own to your document. You see the Properties dialog box when you select File, Properties (see Figure 4.1).
Figure 4.1. You can track your document's properties.
The pages in the Properties dialog box provide the following information:
General ” Contains the document's file information, including the date and time you created, last modified, and last accessed the document.
Summary ” Tracks a document title, author (the name to which the software is registered by default), keywords, and comments you enter about the document.
Statistics ” Tracks the document's numeric statistics, such as character, word, page counts, and total editing time.
Contents ” Describes the parts of your document, such as the header, body, and footer.
Custom ” Keeps track of customized information that you specify and want to track. You can use this page to monitor customized properties such as the department responsible for creating or maintaining the document, the name of a project group that works on the document, and the person responsible for typing the document's information.
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As you add items to the Properties Custom tab, indicate the item's data type (such as text or date) so that Word can properly format the property value that you want to track. The Custom page is great for using in departments in which many people see and edit the same set of documents.
Some properties are available elsewhere in Word. You can find a document's statistics, such as word and paragraph counts, for example, by selecting Tools, Word Count. Often, you can select from a menu option more quickly than you can display the document properties.
You might find that the Word Count toolbar comes in handy. When you select Tools, Word Count and click the Show Toolbar button, Word displays a floating toolbar that enables you to keep track of the word count as you type. Every time you click the Word Count's Recount button, the word count is recalculated. The Word Count toolbar can also display a count of the lines, pages, and paragraphs, depending on your selection.
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If you create numerous documents and continually search through your files for particular ones, consider adding search keywords to the Properties Summary tab. Then, you can more quickly find that document using the Advanced Search option in the Open dialog box.