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Password Protect Your Microsoft Excel 2007 Documents: Part 3

written by: Arvind Arora•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/28/2008

So far, we have shown how to password protect our Microsoft Excel 2007 documents at cell level as well as at the worksheet & workbook level. Still, we've yet to cover the most powerful protection ability for Excel documents - file level protection. Want to know more? Read on.

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    In the last two articles of this series, we have learned how we can protect and unprotect our Microsoft Excel 2007 documents at cell level and at the worksheets & workbook level. Now, in this article, we will check out how it is possible for us to enable password protection in our documents at the file level. This is considered to be the most powerful way to protect any file.

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    File Level Protection

    When password protecting a Microsoft Excel 2007 document at the file level, you can enable the protection in two ways, both of are the strongest ways to protect your file. In the first method, you can password protect the document so that only a person who knows the correct password can modify it in any way. To make the protection even stronger, the other way of protecting your Microsoft Excel 2007 document ensures that a person who doesn't know the correct password can't even open your document, preventing him from even previewing your Microsoft Excel 2007 document.

    Password protecting the Microsoft Excel 2007 document at file level:

    • Click “File>Save As”.
    • You will see a “Tools” pull-down list, select “General Options” from the list, which will bring a “General Options” dialog box in front of you.
    • You will find two text fields in the dialog box, with captions “Password to open” and “Password to modify” before them.
    • If you want to password protect your Microsoft Excel 2007 document from being opened, enter a password text of your choice in the “Password to open” text field. Likewise, to protect the document from being modified enter the password text in the “Password to modify” text field.
    • Below the text fields, you can see a check-box followed by the caption “Read only recommended”. Checking this box, you ensure that this Microsoft Excel 2007 document is always opened as a read-only file.
    • Click “OK”.
    • One more dialog box appears before you, asking you to re-enter both the passwords that you had just entered in the password text fields within the “General Options” dialog box. Re-enter both the passwords in “correspondingly matching” text fields, which means enter the password to open and password to modify in the correct text fields.
    • Click “OK”, and then click “Save”.

    Your Microsoft Excel 2007 document has been password protected at file level now, giving you the strongest level of protection.

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    Unprotecting the Microsoft Excel 2007 document at file level

    At times you might need to remove the password protection from your Microsoft Excel 2007 document in order to make it modifiable by anybody. If you don't know how to do so, it will make things worse, as you will have to compose the whole document right from scratch, without enabling password protection in it this time.

    • Open your file, and enter the password you designated while protecting it.
    • Click “File>Save As”.
    • As while protecting, select “General Options” from the “Tools” pull-down list, which will bring a “General Options” dialog box in front of you.
    • Select the password text entered in the “Password to open” text field, and delete it.
    • Similarly, select and delete the password text entered in the “Password to modify” text field, too.
    • Click “OK”, and then click “Save”.
    • A dialog box asks you to confirm that you don't want your Microsoft Excel 2007 document to feature password protection at file level anymore.
    • Click “Yes”, and your Microsoft Excel 2007 document is free from password protection at file level now.

Protecting and unprotecting Microsoft Excel 2007 documents

It happens many times that you find your valuable Microsoft Excel 2007 documents inadvertently changed because your colleagues messed up with its vital components. You can prevent this from happening by protecting your Microsoft Excel 2007 documents at various levels, and rest at peace.
  1. Password Protect Your Microsoft Excel 2007 Documents: Part 1
  2. Password Protect Your Microsoft Excel 2007 Documents: Part 2
  3. Password Protect Your Microsoft Excel 2007 Documents: Part 3