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Subject: Re: Word documents and excel spreadsheets
From: Randy Preston <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 16 Oct 2008 09:34:26 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (138 lines)


Before converting documents/records to another format you need to consider
what the purpose of the conversion is and what function the converted
documents will be asked to fulfil in relation to the original functionality
offered by the previous format.  The most obvious case in point here
involves the Excel spreadsheets.  For example, if the original spreadsheets
contain cells with formulas used to generate the data that are manifested on
the screen to the user, or macros that are used to generate particular views
of the data in the spreadsheet (while leaving the underlying data unchanged)
based on user inputs or selections, these will be lost when converting to
PDF.  Such loss of functionality may, of course, impact the authenticity of
the converted document in certain contexts.  If the purpose of the
conversion is to provide users with static access to the visible data in the
spreadsheets for reference purposes only, and the converted documents are
only considered to be reference copies of the original (or authoritative)
Excel spreadsheets, then conversion to PDF may not be an issue.  If, on the
other hand, the purpose of the conversion is to generate static "locked"
versions of the original spreadsheets, which are then treated as the
authoritative documents, you will need to be concerned about the impact of
the loss of overall functionality and the underlying, "invisible" data (cell
formulas, macros, etc.) on the authenticity of the documents.  If this
proves to be an issue, you will need to devise some way of ensuring that the
functionality and/or the underlying data are carried forward in the new
format.

~Randy

--
Randy Preston
Project Coordinator, InterPARES Project
The University of British Columbia
Suite 470, 1961 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1  Canada
tel: +1(604) 822-2694 fax: +1(604) 822-6006
[log in to unmask] 
www.interpares.org 


-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Farris Wahbeh
Sent: 16 October, 2008 6:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Word documents and excel spreadsheets

If the electronic documents are still in the process of being used, the
protection features already discussed can lock users from altering the
documents and/or converting them to PDF documents. 

If the electronic documents have outlived their life-cycle and retained for
their evidentiary or informational value, documents can be converted to PDF
for protection or be authenticated against circulated records by carrying
out diplomatics.

Claims of authenticity of circulated records can be cross-checked by
authenticated documents already housed in records databases by accessing the
authenticated documents metadata (and seeing when records where modified) or
noticing visible differences in text or form between authenticated record
and circulated record. 

Diplomatics works for electronic records that have outlived their life-cycle
not for those that are currently still being accessed and employed by users.



 

Farris Wahbeh, CA
Archivist

The History Factory
14140 Parke Long Court
Chantilly, VA 20151-1649
T: 703.227.9572
F: 703.631.1124

[log in to unmask]
www.historyfactory.com

{Please Note}
This message may contain confidential information. If you are not the
addressee indicated in this message,you may not copy or deliver this message
to anyone. Kindly destroy this message and notify me by reply e-mail. Thank
you.

Opinions and other information expressed by me that do not relate to the
official business of The History Factory shall be understood as neither
given nor endorsed by it. 

C The History Factory. All rights reserved. 
-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Joan Brunning-Symons
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Word documents and excel spreadsheets

A lot of our business in conducted with Word and Excel.  EG. here is a
business proposal (in Word) and here are the figures to back it up (in
Excel).  But, as far as I can tell, these documents aren't locked up in any
way, anyone can change and save them.


How am I going to improve the security on these docs?

Joan Brunning-Symons
File Coordinator

[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
www.shindico.com<http://www.shindico.com/>

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listings<http://www.shindico.com/properties/property_listings/property_listi
ngs_all.htm>

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