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Calc opens Excel password-protected files without a password prompt [closed]

asked 2012-08-22 23:15:33 +0100

newkansan gravatar image

updated 2015-09-12 03:30:00 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

We have password-protected Excel files that LibreOffice will open (in read-only) without a password prompt. When you hit the Edit File button, it removes the read-only status, but the file still cannot be edited. Is there a way for LibreOffice to honor the password protection so random users cannot view files they aren't supposed to?

We have a mix of LibreOffice versions, most are 3.5-3.6.

Thanks for your help!

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-02-19 15:10:57.488419


What is the program used to save the password-protected file?

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2012-08-23 01:45:19 +0100 )edit

You can very reliably protect your workbooks, if you keep them in their native format of LibreOffice (ODF). So reliably protect it that will not be able to open them, if you forget the password.

JohnSUN gravatar imageJohnSUN ( 2012-08-23 08:24:35 +0100 )edit


When I hit Edit File button, I get the following message in a pop-up: "Readonly content cannot be changed. No modifications will be accepted." I don't get any opportunity to type in a password.

newkansan gravatar imagenewkansan ( 2012-08-23 16:19:47 +0100 )edit

mariosv: the files were originally created in Excel.

newkansan gravatar imagenewkansan ( 2012-08-23 16:23:33 +0100 )edit

JohnSUN: we are in a typical office env where we started off in MS Office, and are now supplementing with LO. Using native ODF format is not an option because the MS Off installs (mix of 2007 and 2010 versions) may have issues reading ODF fully plus no one wants to convert all those file formats.

newkansan gravatar imagenewkansan ( 2012-08-23 16:27:33 +0100 )edit

"because the MS Off installs..." "may have issues reading ODF..." "no one wants..." Excuse me, but do you really think that is it troubles of LibO?!!

JohnSUN gravatar imageJohnSUN ( 2012-08-23 17:47:42 +0100 )edit

LO strives for full backward compatibility with MSO. I'm trying to find a solution that works in our environment not start a debate on whose problem it is.

newkansan gravatar imagenewkansan ( 2012-08-23 18:53:04 +0100 )edit

Yes, I don't want start debate too.Your question was about "random users cannot view files they aren't supposed to".LO is one of many programs that ignores password protection of XLS-files. Therefore, your problem has no solution: if you teach LO ask for the password, the attacker could use another

JohnSUN gravatar imageJohnSUN ( 2012-08-23 20:31:11 +0100 )edit

I've come across an Excel document whose password prompt does work in LO so I know it should work. I need to figure out why some are working and some aren't. It may be the ones that don't work were originally made in Office 2003, which we no longer have any machines with.

newkansan gravatar imagenewkansan ( 2012-08-23 23:26:10 +0100 )edit

Even MSO have not full compatibility through their versions. And please this is not a for free support service. People here are pleased to help between users. Take a look if you can disable read-only through Menu/File/Properties/Security.

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2012-08-24 01:03:02 +0100 )edit

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answered 2012-08-29 16:03:15 +0100

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

MS Office 2010 password-protected files seem to work great with LibreOffice, so we're going to recreate the problem documents in MSO 2010. It appears the problem files were created in MS Office versions earlier than 2010.

mariosv, I'm totally confused by your comment "And please this is not a for free support service." To me help=support. Doesn't matter now as it is not relevant to the answer.

edit: I cannot accept my own answer as the best answer because I don't have the requisite point total. Hopefully I do not keep getting reminder emails to Accept the Best Answer when I cannot do so.

second edit: I keep getting emails from this site asking me to accept the best answer, but my own answer is the best answer and I cannot select my own answer because I don't have enough "points" according to the site. Can someone stop this madness? I don't need to keep getting nag emails from this site for something that is beyond my control.

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answered 2012-08-23 09:19:51 +0100

Timon gravatar image

After you hit "Edit File button" are you prompted to enter password for edit mode?

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Asked: 2012-08-22 23:15:33 +0100

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Last updated: Feb 25 '14