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Any Mac experts out there - specifically Word, please?

(9 Posts)
Bulmers Wed 10-Aug-11 20:26:46

When you open Word in Office for Mac you get a dialogue box come up where you can select from recently opened files. If you select All you get a list of all Word files that have been opened. Is there any way to clear this? I have opened files on a machine which someone else will use and I don't want them to see what files I've been looking at. If I delete the files (they're mine) will this remove them from the list?

prism Wed 10-Aug-11 23:27:21

Deleting the files won't take them out of the list, though obviously it would generate an error of you tried to open them from the list. The list of files is here:


Where "User" is the login name of the person who is the normal user of the computer.

If you open that file it won't make a lot of sense, but the bits between the <key> and <data> tags basically create the list of recent files. So if you really want to, and you have a backup of the file to go back to, you can rearrange these to change the "Recent Files" list. You'll have to quit all Microsoft Office programs and go back in to see the difference. Or you could just chuck the file away and then there would be no recent files list, something that lots of people wouldn't notice anyway. If you happen to know what was originally in the recent files list you could then open those files to make it look like it did before.

Also if you have acces to a backup you could restore the .plist file to what it was...

niceguy2 Wed 10-Aug-11 23:29:24

From Word Menu -> Preferences -> General

Deselect "Track recently opened documents"

Exit Word. Then repeat steps to select the option again.

This will delete the list for all recently opened documents so you may have to explain why you wanted to do that.

Bulmers Thu 11-Aug-11 06:15:49

Thanks for your suggestions but I'm still tearing my hair out here!

Niceguy, I do not have a "track recently opened documents" box to deselect. The closest I have is "recently used file list". I can change this to whatever number I like but it only changes the previously opened files in the drop-down "File" menu, it doesn't change the files listed in the dialogue box that appears upon opening Word.

Prism, when I went into that it opened a table, does this sound right? It had items0 to items15 listed down the left hand side with big long strings of characters on the right hand side. I deleted the items but it made no difference.
I also pulled a plist file from a backup a few weeks ago and restored this over the top of the current one but that hasn't made any difference either.
I've deleted the plist file completely and restarted my machine but it's made no difference.
Is there somewhere else this info can be stored?

MonkeyJungleConga Thu 11-Aug-11 06:55:33

If I were you then I'd bank on the person from whom you're trying to hide your history from not tracking back too far and would opening lots documents that they would be likely to be viewing so that your history gets bumped off the list, as it were.

Bulmers Thu 11-Aug-11 08:06:32

Thanks. I'll need to plant some documents on there just to open smile

prism Thu 11-Aug-11 10:12:19

I 'm wondering which version of Word you're using- maybe my advice only applies to mine. It'll tell you in "About Word" in the Word menu. But if you're OK opening a load of files to bump yours off the list that will be a perfectly good solution.

Bulmers Thu 11-Aug-11 10:55:52

Erk! It's Word that came with Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, if that makes any difference?

I don't really want to put unnecessary files on if I don't have to, but oh well. Thanks for taking the time to help smile

prism Thu 11-Aug-11 13:43:14

Aha. I'm on 2008/2011. It might take me a while to get hold of a machine running 2004. But you don't need to actually create new files; just open ones that are already there. If the list is, say, 10 documents long, once you've opened 10 documents that are different from the ones you want to hide, they will be the only ones in the list and yours will disappear.

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