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How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

MS Office Support


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  #1  
Old 07-11-2007
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 49
How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

I am having a series of documents that are protected by a old version of Microsoft Office 2003. Now we had upgraded to Office 2007. I want some help to get rid of protection from office files but cannot do the same. When I try to open the forms in Word it shows me protection message. I cannot make changes in the form. How to turn this off completely and I can enable it back again.

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  #2  
Old 07-11-2007
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 128
You can turn that off. By default it is enabled due to which you are not able to modify those forms. For that simply open the form that you want to modify. Then go to the Review Tab. You can find that on the ribbon. In that click on Protect Document button. There you can find a option restrict formatting and editing that's all. You can simply get rid of protection from that place.
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  #3  
Old 27-08-2008
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Good grief I struggled with this for two hours combing the web until I finally found this. The interface to this whole process is so completely ill-thought and butchered by people who have never used these kinds of products as a user. It shows you how disconnected they are and why the bottom line seldom changes, that is when you only have one player like MS.

I have a similar problem:
Window XP: 5.1 (build 2600.xpsp_sp3_qdr 090206-1234 : Service Pack 3
Word 2007 (12.0.6504.5000) SP1 MSO (12.0.6320.5000)
Document type: 97-2003

Background:
In my stupidity the last time I saved the document I checked "Restrict Access" in an attempt to limited inadvertant editing. At the time it requested a password (which I entered) and then it wanted to install Information Rights Manger - which unfortunately I accepted.

Statement of Problem:
I need to edit the document. The Protect Document tab shows a lock. When pulled down, the Unrestricted Access is checked. When I try and uncneck it, the pull down disappears and nothing happens. When I attempt an edit, a status message at the bottomof the window says "This modification is not allowed because the selection is locked."

I set up the Read only access in Word 2003. Now when I open the document in 2007 I do not know how to get rif of it?

I do:
1) Open Document
2) Click the "Review" tab on the ribbon
3) Click the "Protect Document" button
and
No - Press the "Stop Protection" button at the bottom of the screen??!!
How do I then remove the read only protection?

My problem is the opposite. I am making a form in a new Word 2007 document. When I try to enable document protection, the 'Yes, start enforcing document protection' button is disabled.

Anyone know what I need to do to enable it?

I set Formatting and Editing restrictions, but nothing I do enables the 'start enforcing' button.

At the bottom of the 'Restrict Formatting and Editing' dialog, there is a link to See Also Restrict Permission. That takes me to a trial service for IRM. When I cancel that dialog, I get an error message: "Cannot use this feature without credentials."

Does this error also apply to the document protection as well as the IRM? If so, what do I need to do to enable document protection.
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  #4  
Old 14-11-2009
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
WORD 2007 has another way to stop you from editing a document, which may be less obvious. Try this...
1) Open Document
2) Click the "Review" tab on the ribbon
3) Click the "Protect Document" button
4) Press the "Stop Protection" button at the bottom of the screen
5) De-select Formatting and/or Editing restrictions.

I was trying to convert some case studies documents in SharePoint, to demostrate that you are able to author content in Word, and publish them in HTML using document conversion process. But the document conversion process keep crashing because of certain elements in the Word document. But when I tried to edit, the document is protected against edit.

Knowing Word 2007 files are just xml files in a zip file, I did the following.
  • Rename the document to zip format
  • Open it up in my favorite zip program
  • Edit settings.xml in Notepad
  • Look for "protection" in the xml file, and you will locate <w:documentProtection> element.
  • Remove all the attributes in it.
  • Update the zip file
  • Rename the document back to docx
  • Open it up in Word 2007, and you are able to edit the document...
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  #5  
Old 15-06-2010
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

My problem seems to be the reverse of yours.

I have protected a word document against unintentional editing using Word 2007. It works perfect (as was intended) when opening the file with Word 2007.
But when the file is opened using Word 2003, users are able to unprotect the document without using the password. (Using "unprotect" option under the tools tab).

Is there a way to prevent this, because only certain fields within the document should be open to editing, no matter what version of Word they are using.

I have tried saving the file as as Word 97-2003 Document and then going through the protection process again. Users are still able to "unprotect" the document using the method mentioned above.
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  #6  
Old 22-06-2010
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 3
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

Replying to Beth Melton's excellent advice (which did work): I also struggled for well over an hour before I hit upon this thread. My return suggestion is that someone at Microsoft needs to be fired. This abusive changing of working products into obscure and opaque processes that require wasting hours and hours of time that could otherwise be put to productive use is an insult to everyone not in the know. I don't know who you are, Beth, but if by chance you are someone with an opportunity to let Microsoft's WORD or Office 2007 development team know how people feel, tell them that I work for a Fortune 50 company and that Microsoft's team of inconsiderate meddlers owes my company some serious money for all the time we've lost. Here's my short take: once a better product comes along this offensive piece of barely usable junk is G - O - N - E. I should not have to spend 30 seconds searching for a command I've known how to use since back in the 1990's. If I treated my customers that way I would have been F - I - R - E - D!!!!!
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2010
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 6
Beth Melton's reply below did not help:
"In Word 2007 you need to use these steps (step 4 is what you are missing):
1) Open Document
2) Click the "Review" tab on the ribbon
3) Click the "Protect Document" button
4) Click "Restrict Formatting and Editing"

This will display the task pane (the same as in Word 2003) which will
include the Stop Protection command."

My Task Pane does not display "Stop Protection"?
Wolf Furst

I currently use Word Password Recovery 5.0, which can unprotect a word Doc in just seconds!
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  #8  
Old 19-10-2010
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 3
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

It turns out that even after I thought Beth's advice would work, it failed when the documents were put into actual use. I cried on the shoulder of the head of IT for my department and learned that I had to have the Developer heading added to my WORD toolbar, replete with its suite of tools. This shortfall, we are told, was a conscious choice Microsoft made in its distribution of WORD 2007. If that is true, then everyone on the team responsible for that choice should be fired, and a court of law with jurisdiction in all 50 states and the District of Columbia should issue a permanent injunction against any of them ever being allowed to work in the IT world again! How incredibly inconsiderate and mean-spirited to obscure a tool that the rest of the world has been using for decades!

Last edited by apoculamus : 19-10-2010 at 07:07 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #9  
Old 26-03-2011
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

I saw some serious frustrations here.

Try this:

If you have open office installed (free download), you can save word file as .odt file. Then use right click menu OPEN WITH and then choose Word and it will open back up as word document.

Sloan
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  #10  
Old 27-03-2011
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 3
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

Sloan, I appreciate the thought. I am using, however, a company computer so the only software anyone can install on it is what has been approved for use by the company IT security group. Open Office is not on the list.

You use the word "frustration". This is an unholy understatement. My company has over 18,000 employees and probably more than 65% have computers assigned to them, which we must use for all company business. The larger holding company has over 225.000 employees and, again, probably 50 to 65% use computers for all company business. When Microsoft decides to just up and hide or obfuscate somthing we've known how to use for years and years it is going to cost 2 to 3 lost hours per user who used that feature but now are blocked. DO the math. If 20% of those users (so now were at about 50,000) each loses 2 hours, that's 100,000 hours at, including overhead expense, $100 per hour. So Microsoft's selfish and incredibly stupid (and possibly malicious) decision has cost us $10,000,000! Does Beth Melton think that Steve Ballmer is ready to reimburse us that amount?
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  #11  
Old 16-09-2011
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

Quote:
Originally Posted by apoculamus View Post
Replying to Beth Melton's excellent advice (which did work): I also struggled for well over an hour before I hit upon this thread. My return suggestion is that someone at Microsoft needs to be fired. This abusive changing of working products into obscure and opaque processes that require wasting hours and hours of time that could otherwise be put to productive use is an insult to everyone not in the know. I don't know who you are, Beth, but if by chance you are someone with an opportunity to let Microsoft's WORD or Office 2007 development team know how people feel, tell them that I work for a Fortune 50 company and that Microsoft's team of inconsiderate meddlers owes my company some serious money for all the time we've lost. Here's my short take: once a better product comes along this offensive piece of barely usable junk is G - O - N - E. I should not have to spend 30 seconds searching for a command I've known how to use since back in the 1990's. If I treated my customers that way I would have been F - I - R - E - D!!!!!

Amen, same goes for all the other programs in Office, I have spent endless hour on Excel and Powerpoint relearning features that I knew and was proficient. Is this an effort to create job security?
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  #12  
Old 16-03-2012
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

Thanks for all the info here everyone. I was able to successfully unprotect a document from our customer so I could add a digital signature.

I followed this method (you must be able to open the document):

Open the document and resave it as a rich text format (.rtf) - I had to physically open the document and resave as .rtf, if I just changed the file type to .rtf, I encountered errors.

Change the RFT file type to a .htm file type. (Here I didn't have to open the document, I just changed the name of the file on my desktop from .rtf to .htm)

Open the document in Notepad. Do a crtl+f for "password"

Then delete the line containing password:
(Yours wont look exactly like this, but should be very similar, make sure to only delete one { and one } or you will corrupt the code and be unable to open.

{\*\passwordhash 020000004c0000000100000004800000a08601001400000010000000280000003c0000000000000040e6c3d186974ae3f583 316e1656d5371d89938d5c4276ea551b5cb6db264411e76efcd3}

Then save the file and close it.

Rename the file to a .doc. (I didn't have to open it, just changed the file type on the file on my desktop)

Open the file. It should have kept all formatting. Go to the Review tab, Click restrict editing, Remove protection - and voilą, you should now be able to make any changes you want.
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  #13  
Old 26-04-2012
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

Several of these methods will work, but in many cases, a simple way is

^A (select all)
^C (copy)
^N (new doc)
^V (paste)
close protected doc
... (edit, if needed)
Shift-^S (save as)
navigate to original directory
click on original file name (puts name in box)
Enter (or click Save)
Yes (to replace original file)
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  #14  
Old 26-04-2012
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
re: How to remove Word Protection in Office 2007

If you are familiar with VB.net, C#, VB6, or VBA, you can create your own unlocker by replacing each of the following lines with a single code statement:

define a regular expression for the RTF password pattern offered by carrod54

launch a file selector dialog

open the selected file with the Word API (or just open it if using VBA as a Word macro)

Save it as RTF to a temporary name

Read the entire file into virtual memory as a string

Use the regular expression to replace the password hash with an empty string.

Overwrite the temporary file with the string just changed.

Open the temporary file with the Word API (or just open it if using VBA as a Word macro)

Close the protected word file

Save the temporary file to the protected file's name and type (overwrite: true)

exit program
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