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OpenOffice.org Writer: Password Protect Your Documents

If you’ve got one of those files that contains sensitive information, then I’m sure you’ve wondered what you could do to protect it from prying eyes.

For some of us it’s not a problem since we either don’t share our computer, have password only access to the computer or simply don’t have sensitive information that needs to be protected.

However… for those of you who do need to protect the contents of a file, then this might be just what you’re looking for.

Writer allows you to set a password that protects the file from being opened by anyone who doesn’t know that “magic word”.

Setting a password is a small additional step to saving the document the first time… or to put one on an already existing document use the Save As command.

Obviously then, our first step is to save the file using either the Save dialog or Save As dialog box (File menu).

Once there, you’ll be able to name the file as usual, but before you hit the OK button be sure to check the “Save with password” option.


(If you try to save the file in any format that’s not an OpenOffice.org file then this option will be deactivated.)

Once you click OK a dialog box for setting a password will open.


As with any other password you’ll need to type it twice to avoid a typo.

You should know a few things about your password… it is case sensitive and you won’t be able to recover it if it’s forgotten, so be sure that it’s something you won’t forget.

I found that when I wanted to remove the password I simply opened the file, used File menu / Save As, unchecked the option for saving with a password then saved it with the same name. (I had to confirm that the original file should be replaced with the new version to complete the process.)

That’s it – a simple check-box during saving is all it takes to add a password to your file and keep everyone else out.

~ April