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Pls help with password protecting calc

asked 2017-11-22 13:39:21 +0200

WebM gravatar image

I need to create a spreadsheet for my club. It needs several (8-10) individual sheets, each password-protected by the section captain; then one master password which will be able to open all the password-protected sheets, without knowing each individual password. The captains need to be able to read and write to their sheet, and change their password if necessary; the club members all have access to the whole spreadsheet without being able to change anything; the chairman, treasurer and secretary need to be able to control everything, including read/write all sheets, and changing individual passwords if necessary. Possible? Thanks in advance.

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answered 2017-11-23 11:48:52 +0200

WebM gravatar image

Very kind of you, not sure exactly what you mean by the phrase "without Calc" and "without using Calc". Please explain, if you have time. Thanks.

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(If you want to comment on an answer or to post a question in return, you can use the "add a comment" facility.)
"Without using Calc" was my way to tell that I used independent software to manipulate the file. This software also wasn't any kind of "Office" but an old WinZip and a recent Notepad++ (with XML-tools) in my case. You can also do it with different tools.
I just wanted to verify my claims concerning the weakness of "protection" as compared to the strong encryption.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2017-11-23 12:34:47 +0200 )edit

OK thanks again for taking the time to answer both questions and to put me right about comments. Very useful. I'll play around with Calc now. What fun!

WebM gravatar imageWebM ( 2017-11-23 16:04:15 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-22 18:28:55 +0200

Lupp gravatar image

updated 2017-11-22 18:30:16 +0200

I would judge what the OQ wants to achieve can not be done for the open document from within Calc. It can - in principle - be done accessing the closed document with a program written for the purpose or by directly applying some tools.

Why? The internal password protection is a weak protection, mainly provided as a means to prevent inadvertent changes. As long as respected it can also be used to hide some contents. However, anybody with physical access to the closed document (and some knowlege) can do a bit of surgery on it and remove this kind of protection. He may even be able to make changes and to reinstate the protection with the unchanged password subsequently. This is surely not acceptable in the described situation.

The option to 'Save with Password' is completely different. It encrypts the document based on the password. To open the document again requires decryption then. Password inevitably needed for that.

The goals the OQ is heading for would require a detailed rights management which IMO is only available for full-grown databases.

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Just for fun I did it:
-1- Create a spreadsheet document and protect a sheet
-2- Save it. Make a copy to work on
-3- Remove the protection for the sheet from the file without Calc, save the needed info for further steps
-4- Change the content a bit in the now unprotected sheet
-5- Reinsert the protection without using Calc
-6- Open the document and verify the protection
-7- Verify the unchanged password.
Needed time: About as much as for writing this report

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2017-11-22 19:09:36 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-11-22 13:39:21 +0200

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Last updated: Nov 23 '17