Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unprotect MS word Doument.

This is a how to on how to recover access to a word document that has been protected to disable editing.

In MS word if you go to the tools menu then select 'protect document' you can set the password to protect the document from editing. Useful feature if it s a memo or a form that needs to be passed about and you don't want anyone to make changes to it.

Now what happens if you forget the password and you need to make changes to the document?

For this instructable you will need.

1) A protected word document.
2) Ms Word.
3) Text Editor (like WordPad or Notepad).
4) Hex editor (Like WinHex).

step 1Method 1: Copy contents of the document into a new document.
One of the disadvantages of using this method is that you might mess up some of the formatting especially if you don't have all the fonts etc. Also some of the protection options even might prevent copying.

* Open the protected document do a Ctrl + A to select everything in the document.
* Do a Ctrl + C to copy the selected area
* Open a new document
* Do a Ctrl + V to paste the selected area
* Save the new document.

The new document is ready for you to make changes.

step 2Method 2: Format the word document.
a. Make a copy of the protected document incase you mess it up ;0)
b. Open the protected document in MS word.
c. Under the file menu select 'Save As'.
d. Under 'Save as type' choose "Web page (*.htm; *.html)" and click save
e. Close word.

step 3Method 2: Find the password.
* In WordPad (or notepad) open the HTML document you just created.
* Search through the document for tag.
* The value between the open and closed tag represents the
password. It should be eight characters in length. Write this value down.
(Characters: 12345678).
* Close WordPad

step 4Method 2: Hack the document.
* Open the protected document in WinHex (or other hex editor).
* Search the document for the characters you found in the previous step 12345678
(1FC6CBEB)
* but in the order 78563412 (EBCBC61F)
* Once you have found the hex values overwrite them with 0's (zeros)
* Save the document

step 5Method 2: Open the document.
* Open the protected document in MS word.
* Under the Tools Menu select Unprotect document
* Don't type anything in the password box just click ok.
* Document is now unprotected and is ready for you to make changes.


OTHER METHODS

Here is the easiest way I have found to unprotect a word document:

* save file as a Rich Text File
* File will appear with file name followed by .rtf
* Open .rtf and save as a word document
* click Tools and select Unprotect

This should give you the file unprotected.


Even simpler way is this:

1) Create a blank new document.
2) Select Insert | File...
3) Browse to the document, then click Insert.

You'll have the unprotected form document on your hands.

Much simpler and not underhand.....the reason this is done is to protect the document from changes for version control

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