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O365 Sensitivity Labels – Dynamic Content Marking
Published on April 4, 2021
Sensitivity Labels

Sensitivity Label

Before using Dynamic Content Marking(s) for Sensitivity Labels, there are some initial housekeeping chores required.

A sensitivity label is simply a tag that indicates the value of the item to your organization. It can be applied manually, or automatically. Once applied it gets embedded in the document and will follow it everywhere it goes. A sensitivity label enables various protective behaviors, such as mandatory watermarking or encryption.

Sensitivity labels must be enabled for files that are in SharePoint and OneDrive in order for the corresponding data to surface in the data classification page. For more information, see Enable sensitivity labels for Office files in SharePoint and OneDrive.

Sensitivity Labels – Dynamic Content Marking

When configuring content marking for a sensitivity label, you can now use the dynamic variables such as ${Item.Label} and ${Item.Location} in the text string for your header, footer, or watermark.

Important

Currently, not all apps on all platforms support dynamic content markings that you can specify for your headers, footers, and watermarks. For apps that don’t support this capability, they apply the markings as the original text specified in the label configuration, rather than resolving the variables.

The Azure Information Protection unified labeling client supports dynamic markings. For labeling built in to Office, see the tables in the capabilities section on this page.

When you configure a sensitivity label – dynamic content marking – for content markings, you can use the following variables in the text string for your header, footer, or watermark:

 

Variable Description Example
${Item.Label} Label display name of the label applied General
${Item.Name} File name or email subject of the content being labeled Sales.docx
${Item.Location} Path and file name of the document being labeled, or the email subject for an email being labeled \\Sales\2020\Q3\Report.docx
${User.Name} Display name of the user applying the label Richard Simone
${User.PrincipalName} Azure AD user principal name (UPN) of the user applying the label rsimone@contoso.com
${Event.DateTime} Date and time when the content is labeled, in the local time zone of the user applying the label 8/10/2020 1:30 PM

Note:

The syntax for these variables is case-sensitive.

Setting different visual markings for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook

As an additional variable, you can configure visual markings per Office application type by using an “If.App” variable statement in the text string, and identify the application type by using the values Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook. You can also abbreviate these values, which is necessary if you want to specify more than one in the same If.App statement.

Examples:

Set header text for Word documents only:

${If.App.Word}This Word document is sensitive ${If.End}

In Word document headers only, the label applies the header text “This Word document is sensitive”. No header text is applied to other Office applications.

Set footer text for Word, Excel, and Outlook , and different footer text for PowerPoint:

${If.App.WXO}This content is confidential. ${If.End}${If.App.PowerPoint}This presentation is confidential. ${If.End}

In Word, Excel, and Outlook, the label applies the footer text “This content is confidential.” In PowerPoint, the label applies the footer text “This presentation is confidential.”

Set specific watermark text for Word and PowerPoint, and then watermark text for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint:

${If.App.WP}This content is ${If.End}Confidential

In Word and PowerPoint, the label applies the watermark text “This content is Confidential”. In Excel, the label applies the watermark text “Confidential”. In Outlook, the label doesn’t apply any watermark text because watermarks as visual markings are not supported for Outlook.

Require users to apply a label to their email and documents

IMPORTANT – Sensitivity Labels – Dynamic Content Marking

Also known as mandatory labeling, not all apps on all platforms currently support the policy setting of Require users to apply a label to their email and documents.

The Azure Information Protection unified labeling client supports mandatory labeling and for labeling built in to Office apps, see the tables in the capabilities section on this page.

When this policy setting is selected, users assigned the policy must select and apply a sensitivity label under the following scenarios:

  • For the Azure Information Protection unified labeling client:
    • For documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint): When an unlabeled document is saved or users close the document.
    • For emails (Outlook): At the time users send an unlabeled message.
  • For labeling built in to Office apps:
    • For documents ((Word, Excel, PowerPoint): When an unlabeled document is opened or saved.
    • For emails (Outlook): At the time users send an unlabeled email message.
  • Additional information for built-in labeling:
    • When users are prompted to add a sensitivity label because they open an unlabeled document, they can
      add a label or choose to open the document in read-only mode.
    • When mandatory labeling is in effect, users can’t remove sensitivity labels from documents, but can
      change an existing label.

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