Storing Document Summary Information

The Document Summary Information property set is one of the simplest and most commonly used property sets. Most documents created by applications have a common set of attributes that are useful to users of those documents. These attributes include the name of the document's author, the subject of the document, when it was created, and so on.

In Windows 3.1, each application has a different way of storing this information within its documents. To examine the summary information for a given document, the user has to run the application that created the document, open it, and invoke the application's Summary Information dialog box. For example, the summary information dialog boxes that Microsoft Word 2.0 displays for its documents are shown in the following drawings:

Unfortunately, no application but Microsoft Word 2.0 can display the summary information for a Microsoft Word 2.0 document. However, with OLE property sets, this limitation can be overcome. This appendix describes one standard property set, the OLE Document Summary Information Property Set. Any application that understands the data format for this property set will be able to access the summary information contained in any document created by an OLE application that also understands the format.

For example, Microsoft Word 6.0 and many other OLE-enabled applications now save their documents using OLE structured storage and the property set standard described here. Thus, applications other than Word 6.0 are able to display the summary information property set for such a file, as long as that file is an OLE structured storage file, and the creating application saved the information in the OLE Property Set format.

For more information about the Document Summary Information property set and implementing it in your applications, see "Guidelines for Implementing the Document Summary Information Property Set" later in this appendix.

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