Dave, I just got another read-only password-protected Word file from my boss and I’m hoping there’s a way to sidestep the password because he gets really mad every time I ask him to unlock the file and/or send me an unprotected version. I dunno if this is legal, though. Can you even answer this for me?
Okay, everyone who thinks this is illegal, click here and you can go shopping instead.
Good, we’ve gotten rid of those sticklers and can talk about the relatively simple technique that you can use to sidestep the password protection on a Word file. Is it illegal? I don’t think so, since it’s a document that your boss sent you.
Here’s how you crack the password protected Microsoft Word file:
First, open the document and do a “Save As…” specifying Rich Text Format (RTF). It’ll end up being called something.rtf.
Now open the RTF file by double-clicking on it. It should look identical to the original Word file.
Final step: save the RTF file with a new name as a Microsoft Word format document.
That’s all there is to it. You’ve sidestepped the read-only lock on the file your boss sent you and are good to go.
In terms of actually breaking the password on a file that has it set as the “open file” password, that’s beyond the scope of what I’ll write about here. But I will say that there are some Google searches that can probably help you track down plenty of tips on doing just that.