How to password protect a Microsoft Word document

All of us have sensitive data that we store in Word documents, and we would like to prevent prying eyes from viewing it. For this, you have the option of password protecting your Microsoft Word document – only that the process is a bit involved. Also, you can even use the password protection to let only password holders edit the document – and everyone else can simply view it, and do nothing else to change the document.

This is an invaluable tool for people working in collaborative projects over the internet. This article will tell you how you can use password protection in Microsoft Word.

  1. Open the document on which you want to impose your password protection.
  2. Navigate to Tools -> Options.
  3. In the Options dialog, go to the Security tab.
  4. Here, you can clearly see the options for File encryption, and the filed in which you have to enter your new password. Enter a password in the Password to open field.
  5. If you wish that only you (and other password holders) have the power to edit the document, then enter another (or the same) password in the Password to modify field.
  6. Further, if you are going to share this document (in a collaborative undertaking) over the internet, you might also want to select the option for Remove personal information from file properties on save under the Privacy options – to add a higher level of privacy.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. You are faced with a prompt that asks you to confirm the new password(s) that you have set.
  9. Click on OK.

Your work is done – he next time you open the password protected document, you will be prompted for a password – and you will not be able to view it unless you provide the correct (case-sensitive) password to Microsoft Word.

By extension, you can follow a similar procedure for any MS Office program like Excel, PowerPoint, etc.