Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Protecting your privacy with encryption
You can use this same technique to password protect Word and PowerPoint
ﬁ les too.
The way you do this is slightly different in Ofﬁ ce 2010 and Ofﬁ ce 2007.
• In Ofﬁ ce 2010, go to the backstage area. Click on Protect Workbook and then
click Encrypt with Password.
• In Ofﬁ ce 2007, click the Ofﬁ ce button. Click Prepare on the menu and then
click Encrypt Document.
Whichever version of Microsoft Ofﬁ ce you are using, you will be asked to enter
the password twice. It won’t come up on screen as you type it, so the second time
is to make sure that you’ve typed it correctly and there is no misunderstanding.
Passwords are case sensitive, so if you set your password as ‘Hello123’, it won’t
work if you type in ‘hello123’ or ‘HELLO123’.
When you open the ﬁ le, you’ll need to match the password you provided exactly.
But what happens if you lose the password? You won’t be able to open the ﬁ le any
more. The idea is to keep intruders out, not lock yourself out! So make sure you
pick a password that is highly memorable but not easy for others to guess. If
necessary, write it down somewhere secure, but not somewhere it can be found with
the ﬁ le.
If you decide to remove the password later, follow the same steps for setting a
password. When asked to provide the password, just press Enter to tell Excel the
password is nothing (ie there isn’t one).
Password protection is a useful tool, particularly if you’re going to be moving ﬁ les
or your computer around a lot. However, the best protection is to keep the actual
ﬁ les somewhere they won’t be found, such as stored on a USB key in a locked
There are some tips for creating secure but memorable passwords on my website