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Modify Password on Word 2007 Does not Stop Edits to Document

Steve Krause

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Question from Reader


Carl 21 Nov 2008 at 3:52 am


I have tried all the options, password to open and password to modify and both at the same time with different passwords for each option and mailed as a attachment the document to another e-mail address (to test this). Yet i had access to edit etc and was not prompt for a password? I followed the instructions above….what am i doing wrong??


Carl 22 Nov 2008 at 3:04 am


I tried it again. I am prompted to enter password before opening the file and this works fine. Thank you.

However when prompted for the editing password with the option of read only I chose read only. I can still edit and alter the document without entering the password and choosing read only. Can you enlighten me please?


BR Carl


Hi Carl,


Thanks for the questions. Essentially, when you set the MODIFY Password in Microsoft Word 2007, all your doing is preventing a user from modifying the ORIGINAL document. The security feature (if you can all it that) does not prevent someone from opening up the document, making changes and then saving the document under a new name. Because of this, I personally find this particular feature NOT very useful.


If you want to save a Word 2007 document so that someone cannot made edits to it, I would recommend you take a look at an article I wrote a year ago - Save MS Office documents as a PDF or XPS. This plugin from Microsoft allows you to save the Word 2007 document as either a .PDF or .XPS (.XPS is the Microsoft equivalent to the Adobe .pfd standard). By saving in these formats, the document truly is "READ ONLY". This is a great option for Sales people to submit invoices or sales quotes etc.....


Another option is using Microsoft RMS. Microsoft RMS allows the user to place specific ROLES or Permissions on an Office Document (Word, Powerpoint, Excel). Again, the document will be truly READ ONLY. Although RMS has its place, I personally don't find it very practical for NON-CORPORATE users. It's complex to use and it requires a Corporate BackEnd to be useful. It also limits who can use the document as well. All in all, although an option, RMS is not what I recommend.


Hope that helps you!

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