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How can I use cells in Calc as password fields?

asked 2016-01-19 23:49:21 +0200

shule gravatar image

In LibreOffice Calc, how do I set a cell so that it shows asterisks instead of the actual text in the cell (and so asterisks also show in the function part)? I just want to hide some passwords (but still be able to access them via a Python module). Is this possible? My current workaround is to use a crazy font that practically no one would understand (however, this doesn't hide it in the function-bar). I don't suppose this would save in an .xls file if the functionality exists, but that would also be nice to know, if so.

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Hi shule!

After some time, I've thought of a trivial solution.

For sure, password is only secure for quick eyes, not for data copy.

You could use a chinese or symbol font on those cells, or some font whose chars are all squares. This is maybe not an optimal solution, because the computer may not have the font, what can be a problem if someone are using LibreOffice older than v4.1 (Jul 2013) [see ref]

pedrofmj gravatar imagepedrofmj ( 2016-08-19 03:39:04 +0200 )edit

Anyway, you can also think in a By Macro solution, but personally I don't like those solutions, because it's not always that we want the document have macros. One could create a macro for encrypting the password using an symetric encryption algorithm.

pedrofmj gravatar imagepedrofmj ( 2016-08-19 03:40:25 +0200 )edit

I hope I could help with my two comments below!


pedrofmj gravatar imagepedrofmj ( 2016-08-19 03:40:44 +0200 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2016-01-21 08:35:21 +0200

I can see number of reasons why you would want to write passwords in a spreadsheet. I have to guess because you do not explain the reason why you want passwords in the spreadsheet. Obfuscating the passwords or hiding them is not a good idea. Someone with a bit of technical skill will be able to read them anyway.

Here is an _insecure_ solution: hide the sheet that contains the password by clicking on the sheet tab and pressing 'hide'.

A more secure solution is to store only salts and hashes of the passwords in the spreadsheet. Make sure both salt and hash are sufficiently long so that they cannot be cracked. See the documentation in this code for a good explanation.

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answered 2016-01-22 10:15:56 +0200

Regina gravatar image

What do you mean with "show in function part"? It is not clear to me, what do you want to do with that password.

You can use a form control "Text box", set it to single line and enter a character ( e.g. *) into the field "password" in the properties of the form control. You do not need a database to use form controls.

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answered 2016-01-22 13:30:43 +0200

Lupp gravatar image

You can do as @Regina suggested and you may assign a custom routine to an appropriate event of the 'Text Box' to do some organising.
However, where will you store the passwords? If you store them in a dedicated sheet, even in a hidden one, they will be accessible by referencing them in formulae. Somebody knowing that sheet's name (or investigating it using the 'Show' item of the context menu of the sheet tabs control) will be able to read the passwords, I am afraid.

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Asked: 2016-01-19 23:49:21 +0200

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Last updated: Jan 22 '16