Can SharePoint Search read Office file properties?

Iron Contributor

The title does not refer to files stored on SharePoint. I would like to know if Office file intrinsic metadata can be included into the SharePoint Search index. Especially when a file was created (not on SharePoint) but in the Office App, see:


Is that possible?

5 Replies


I did a quick test with a docx file with properties like Company, Comments, etc... containing values. After waiting a short while for the docx file to be indexed I searched for the property values without results.

Property promotion (available for office files and tiff files) should in principle allow for office properties to be added as metadata to the SharePoint file if the SharePoint columns names match (e.g. title). I have not seen this working for the "Last Modified" office property though: SharePoint simply creates a file with a new date/time.

One possible approach is to create managed properties in the SharePoint Search schema that are mapped to the crawled properties of the Office files (named ows_Office:xyz). This works for text fields but I could not created a managed property of type date/time.

Another approach is to use Apps (example) that can extract the Office file properties into SharePoint columns. These columns can then be used for sorting, filtering, grouping and of course searching. For example, this approach also allows using the property "Last Modified" date in an Office file in SharePoint as the SharePoint "Modified" date instead of the date/time the file was uploaded. This can be important in organizations where content needs to be kept for a certain period or must be deleted after a fixed period.

@Paul de Jong Intersting. Are you referring to these crawled properties?




No, search for ows_Office:
This will return a list with crawled Office file properties like
ows_Office fields.png

After mapping the crawled properties to managed properties you can use full text search because managed properties are automatically included. Creating managed properties for the date/time fields will be next challenge. This link ( may offer a solution.

@Paul de Jong 

Thanks. But that's strange. My SPO tenant doesn't seem to have ows_Office crawled properties. Aren't ows_ properties only those for which columns in document libaries were created?

Here's where I was looking: https://[]




And in the mapping popup for the managed property itself:




Any idea?


I am also confused. In one of my tenants (has been around for many years) I see the list with ows_Office:Application.
In one of my other tenants (more recent) I get the same results as you get.
I did notice that the category "Document Parser" contains several crawled properties that look similar the properties in Office files. Not sure if there is documentation out there. Otherwise it is like reverse engineering the schema.