Document Information Panel is Gone in Office 2016 – What to use Instead?

Document Information Panel (DIP) was a great and important feature, introduced in Office 2010 clients. With its help, users were able to edit the document’s properties in-context:



However, this feature is gone in Office 2016. You cannot view and edit the document properties in this panel right under the ribbon anymore.

In SharePoint Online

When in the SharePoint document library, the document’s properties can be viewed and edited in the info panel on the right side:


To access this information panel, click on the “Info” icon in the top right corner, or “Details” in the document’s context menu. Once the info panel is visible, edit the properties right here, and they’ll be applied to the document instantly.

In Office Online (Word Online)

In Office Online (Word Online), there’s no direct way to edit the document’s properties.


In Word 2016 (client application)

If you open the document in Word client, the old Document Information Panel is not available anymore. What you can use instead, is the File / Info menu, where you have to click on “Show All Properties…” first:


Here, you’ll see all the properties of the document – even the custom ones:


Of course, these properties can be used in the body of the document in the “old” way. You can add them by choosing the Insert / Quick Part / Document Property menu on the ribbon:


Pros and Cons

There are definite benefits of this new experience: it’s cleaner and much easier to view all the properties of the documents in the same place. But if we have to work with only a few of them, I preferred the old way, since it provided a clean way to view what’s important to me, as a user.

All in all, I get the point behind these changes. What do you think?










  1. I am a fan of the DIP so it’s a backward step to remove it. I think Microsoft said it cluttered up the UI and ribbon for the user but burying deep down in background is not the answer either. Why not have it in the ribbon?

    Quick parts are useful but are not usable in Office Web Apps sadly. It’s been a source of concern that Microsoft seem to be ignoring the valuable role of metadata in all the changes they are making in SharePoint. I wish they would focus on that end of things again.

  2. As a consultant and former content system developer for over 40 years a key element of my guidance is to make it easy to add consistent metadata to documents, either by the creator or curator/information specialist. It has been a losing battle when a fundamental element of document creation is issued as a variable feature over many generations of a tool. Metadata management should be viewed as essential to quality search, which means establishing its creation in a uniform, consistent and habit-enabling function. This has been a source of frustration for me because I cannot issue instructions that hold over time. Take copy and paste (, ). How would that defeat and confound documentation creators if the function was replaced with something different with every new software release? I give up trying to preach usability to software developers – they just do not get the need for dependable basic functions over time.

    • Agnes Molnar

      100% agree with you, Lynda! Thank you for your comment. I especially love your copy-paste analogy!
      I always emphasize during my sessions/workshop how important quality metadata is to have good search/findability. And for this, having the right tools is essential.

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