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How to Protect Microsoft Office Documents

How to Protect Microsoft Office Documents

Do you have any MS Office documents that you don't want to be seen by anyone? Or by an unauthorized person? Well, this tutorial is for you.
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, etc.) has a feature that will let you protect documents. This is very useful especially if you have written sensitive or important content. Take a look at the tutorial below:

Let's use Microsoft Word as an example.

Step 1: Run MS Word in your device.
Press the "Windows" button and search for "MS Word"

Step 2: Click the "File" tab and click "Info".

Step 3: Click  "Protect Document"
There are 4 options under Protect Document:
1. Mark as Final
Let readers know the document is final and make it read-only. (Readers can open the document but editing will be prohibited)
2. Encrypt with Password
Password Protect the document. (The document will ask for a password upon opening.)
3. Restrict Editing
Control types of changes others can make. (Readers can open the document but they will not be able to edit it unless they enter a password.)
4. Add a Digital Signature
Ensure that integrity of the document by adding an invisible digital signature. (This tells people who read your document that you and no else signed it, indicating that you were the last person to revise and save it.)

Let's try Password Encryption and Editing Restriction since these two are the most commonly used function in Microsoft Office.

4. Password Encryption
Click "Encrypt with Password"
This will enable you to set a password for your document.

4.1: Enter your password

4.2: Retype your password

4.3: Press "Enter"

4.4: Save your document

4.5: Open it and you're done!
NOTE: To remove the password, navigate to File>Info>Password Protect>Encrypt with Password and delete the password that you've entered.

5. Restrict Editing
Click the "File" tab and return to the "Protect Document" button. Select "Restrict Editing".
This will enable you to disable the editing function for your document unless they enter the password.

5.1: Formatting restrictions
This will option will prevent others from changing the formatting of your document. Click the link for "Settings" to set limitation. You can keep that as it is, change it to Recommended Minimum, or change it to none. If you are not sure which to pick, choose Recommended Minimum.
You can also check any of those three options under "Formatting". If you're not sure about those, leave them unchecked. Click OK to close the window.

5.2: Editing restrictions
Check the box to "Allow only this type of editing in the document". Click the drop-down menu below and pick from the four options:
A. Tracked changes - To track changes on the document and restricts all other types of editing.
B. Comments - To allow readers to insert comments in your document but make no other modifications
C. Filling in forms - To allow readers to fill out forms that you've created but not change those forms.
D. No changes (Read only) - No changes can be made.

5.3: Exceptions
If you have checked the option for "Comments" or "No changes (Read only)" you can create an exception for anyone to be able to edit certain parts of your documents. In the "Exceptions" section, check the box for Everyone and select any parts of the document that you want anyone to be able to edit.

5.4: Enforce Protection

Finally, click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection" button. Enter and retype a password and then click OK. Save and close the document.

5.5: Turn off Protection
If you want to turn off the protection, click the "Review" tab and click on the icon for "Restrict Editing".  Click the "Stop Protection" button at the lower right corner of your screen. Enter the password and click OK. Uncheck the options for "Formatting and Editing" restriction.

I hope this tutorial helped you. If you have questions, just leave a comment below. 

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