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[1:47 PM]
Microsoft Releases Patch For Word/Excel Sig ID, Other Problems Still Present
Microsoft has released a patch for Office 98 users concerned about the unique identifier inserted into documents by Word 98 and Office 98. According to Microsoft:

The Microsoft Office 98 Unique Identifier Updater addresses privacy concerns regarding the insertion of a unique identifier number in Office 98 documents. Once applied, the patch prevents Office 98 applications from inserting a unique identifier number into Office documents.

An Observer named Chris Lawson reports after using the updater. His experience showed that the ID problem was indeed solved, but that there were still some issues left unresolved. According to Mr. Lawson:

Got the patch and d/l'd it and started playing around. It seems to work as advertised - using the "Word Count" now eliminates the GUID in older documents, but with one caveat: DO NOT DO A SAVE AS and then simply click Replace. It WON'T WORK! You need to save it as SOMETHING ELSE and then go into the Finder, delete the original, and rename the newly saved document to the old name. A real PITA if you ask me...

Word no longer embeds a GUID in new files once it's been patched. That's a good thing. However, there are a couple things you should be aware of still. Even WITH THE PATCH, Word still inserts a LOT of extraneous Eudora-related information on my machine IF WORD DOCUMENTS ARE CREATED WITH EUDORA OPEN. So the easy workaround here is quit Eudora before you use Word. Another big PITA...thanks a lot, M$. How about you just give me the 3rd degree and record everything about the interview? Oh, and tap my phone line and read all my mail while you're at it.

Incidentally, does anyone know of a way to manually edit out the GUID without messing up the document? I've tried to delete it and change it (from within BBEdit) to something else. Both caused the document to be unopenable from within Word. There must be a checksum somewhere for the GUID.

Apparently, the patch also prevents Excel 98 from embedding a GUID as well. I created a new Excel document and it doesn't have the GUID either. I did find the GUID in older, pre-patch Excel documents.

All documents were viewed in BBEdit 4.5 and created with a Microsoft-officially-patched copy of Office 98.

Thanks for the report Chris! If you have am answer for him on how to manually edit out the GUID, you can write him at clawson@mindless.com.

You can find the patch at the Microsoft web site or Version Tracker.

Microsoft



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