Awareness is key when working with sensitive information. And one method of achieving this awareness is to present a visual marking. When working on a document which has a footer message stating “Sensitive information – do not share”, you might think twice before (indeed) sharing it.

But more serious: you might want to add a visual marking to content which contains Personal Identifiable Information (PII), which is relevant to GDPR.

Providing visual markings has always been one of the functions of Azure Information Protection. You can set a header, footer and a watermark. These markings are part of the label policy and can be automatically applied.

Adding label information

What’s relatively unknown is the fact that you can include information on the content and the label policy in these visual markings. You can, for example, add the name of the label to the header of the document.

These are the fields which can be added. I expect that we will see more of these in the months to come.

AIP footer 4

Appearance

In the most recent versions of Azure Information Protection, you can also change the font, font size and color of the message. If you do not change this font, the system will use its default (Calibri).

Changing the font is still in preview. You will need to add the name of the font. This works very well. The font color can be set using predefined colors or adding your own. Use your ingenuity 🙂

How to set?

Setting these visual markings is easy and the options can be found at the label settings.

AIP Header 1

Example

Let’s look at an example. At one of my labels, I added some information to the footer and added a specific watermark. The footer was created with these fields:

Document: ${item.name}
Classification: ${item.label}

Document owner: ${User.PrincipalName}
Labelset: ${Event.DateTime}

In addition, I changed the default font (Calibri) to Times New Roman and changed the color. This is a feature which is still in preview.

The watermark had this text (with another font and fontsize).

Do not print - Classification: ${item.label} 

When opening a document with the relevant label applied, this footer and watermark was correctly displayed. Very nice.

AIP footer Word

The footer in more detail:

AIP footer Word detail

I’ve included another example at the end of this article.

This option works in Word, PowerPoint and Excel. But do note that that within Excel any visual markings will only be shown when printing (or creating the print preview). You can click on any image to view the large version.

Final thoughts?

This is just on of the ways you can enhance the workings of Azure Information Protection. I did notice however that you can still modify the header and footer. Which is something I did not expect. I cannot find any information on this either…..

I promised another example, and here it is. This is a label which is added to sensitive (GDPR related) content. I played a bit with the fonts and fields.

Hopefully this short article  provides you with some more information on the visual markings of Azure Information Protection.

More information on Azure Information Protection and visual markings in particular can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/information-protection/deploy-use/configure-policy-markings

Posted by Albert Hoitingh

I'm an Office 365 businessconsultant/architect. My focus is on Office 365, information-management, security and governance. I'm honored to be a Microsoft MVP. I like to present and share information, most recently @ SharePoint Saturday London, Cambridge and Lisbon.

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