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Protecting Content in OpenOffice.org

The following is an overview of the different ways of protecting contents in OpenOffice.org from being modified, deleted or viewed.

Protecting All Documents When Saving

All documents that are saved in XML format can be saved with a password. Documents that are saved with a password cannot be opened without the password. The content is secured so that it cannot be read with an external editor. This applies to content, graphics and OLE objects.

Turning on protection

Choose File - Save As and mark the Save with password check box. Save the document.

Turning off protection

Open the document, entering the correct password. Choose File - Save As and clear the Save with password check box.


Information entered in File - Properties is not encrypted. This includes the name of the author, creation date, word and character counts.

Protecting Revision Marking

With every change made in OpenOffice.org Calc and OpenOffice.org Writer, the review function records who made the change. This function can be turned on with protection, so that it can only be turned off when the correct password is entered. Until then, all changes will continue to be recorded. Acceptance or rejection of changes is not possible.

Turning on protection

Choose Edit - Changes - Protect Records. Enter and confirm a password of at least 5 characters.

Turning off protection

Choose Edit - Changes - Protect Records. Enter the correct password.


Protecting Cell Ranges in OpenOffice.org Calc

In OpenOffice.org Calc you can protect sheets and the document as a whole. You can choose whether the cells are protected against accidental changes, whether the formulas can be viewed from within Calc, whether the cells are visible or whether the cells can be printed.

Protection can be provided by means of a password, but it does not have to be. If you have assigned a password, protection can only be removed once the correct password has been entered.

Note that the cell protection for cells with the Protected attribute is only effective when you protect the whole table. In the default condition, every cell has the Protected attribute. Therefore you must remove the attribute selectively for those cells where the user may make changes. You then protect the whole table and save the document.

These protection features are just switches to prevent accidential action. The features are not intended to provide any secure protection. For example, by exporting a sheet to another file format, a user may be able to surpass the protection features. There is only one secure protection: the password that you can apply when saving an OpenDocument file. A file that has been saved with a password can be opened only with the same password.

Turning on protection

For cells: Select cell range. Choose Format - Cells - Cell Protection tab.

For the current sheet: Choose Tools - Protect Document - Sheet.

For spreadsheet documents: Choose Tools - Protect Document - Document.

Enter and confirm a password of at least 5 characters.

Turning off protection

For the current sheet: Choose Tools - Protect Document - Sheet.

For spreadsheet documents: Choose Tools - Protect Document - Document.

Where a password has been assigned, enter the correct password.


Protecting Sections in OpenOffice.org Writer

Any section of a OpenOffice.org Writer text document can be protected against changes with a password.

This protection is not intended to be a secure protection. It is just a switch to protect the section against accidential changes.

Turning on protection

Select the text. Choose Insert - Section - Section, then under Write protection mark the Protect and With password check boxes. (If the section already exists: Format - Sections.) Enter and confirm a password of at least 5 characters.

Turning off protection

Choose Format - Sections - Section and under Write protection clear the Protect check box. Enter the correct password.


Protecting Cells in a OpenOffice.org Writer Table

You can protect the contents of individual cells of a OpenOffice.org Writer text table from changes.

This protection is not intended to be a secure protection. It is just a switch to protect the cells against accidential changes.

Turning on protection

Place the cursor in a cell or select cells. Right-click to open the context menu, then choose Cell - Protect.

Turning off protection

Place the cursor in the cell or select the cells. First, if necessary, choose Tools - Options - OpenOffice.org Writer - Formatting Aids and mark Cursor in protected areas - Enable. Then right-click the cell to open the context menu, choose Cell - Unprotect.

Select the table in the Navigator, open the context menu and select Table - Unprotect.

Use Shift+Ctrl+T to remove protection for the entire current table or all selected tables.


Automatic Protection of Indexes and Tables

Tables of contents and indexes created automatically in a OpenOffice.org Writer text are automatically protected against accidental changes.

This protection is not intended to be a secure protection. It is just a switch to protect the contents against accidential changes.

Turning on protection

Place the cursor in the index/table of contents.

From the context menu choose Edit Index/Table. On the Index/Table tab page, mark Protected against manual changes.

Turning off protection

Place the cursor in the index. First of all, if necessary, under Tools - Options - OpenOffice.org Writer - Formatting Aids , mark Cursor in protected areas - Enable.

From the context menu choose Edit Index/Table. On the Index/Table tab page, unmark Protected against manual changes.

In the Navigator, select the index, then open the context menu in the Navigator and select Index - Read-only.


Protecting Frames, Graphics, and OLE Objects

You can protect the content, position and size of inserted graphics. The same applies to frames (in Writer) and OLE objects.

Turning on protection

For example, for graphics inserted in Writer: Choose Format - Graphics - Options tab. Under Protect, mark Contents, Position and/or Size.

Turning off protection

For example, for graphics inserted in Writer: Choose Format - Graphics - Options tab. Under Protect, unmark as appropriate.


Protecting Drawing Objects and Form Objects

The draw objects that you insert into your documents with the Drawing toolbar can be protected from being accidentally moved or changed in size. You can do the same with form objects inserted with the Form Controls toolbar.

Turning on protection

Choose Format - Object - Position and Size - Position and Size tab. Mark the Position or Size check box.

Turning off protection

Choose Format - Object - Position and Size - Position and Size tab. Unmark the Position or Size check box.


Protect Access to Servers Through WebDAV and FTP

You can save some passwords for the duration of a session, or permanently to a file protected by a master password. For example, passwords for accessing WebDAV or FTP servers are stored permanently if you enter a master password when prompted. Otherwise, they are only stored for the current session.

You must enter the master password to access a file or service that is protected by a saved password. You only need to enter the master password once during a session.

Opening Microsoft Office Documents That Are Protected With a Password

OpenOffice.org can open the following Microsoft Office document types that are protected by a password.

Microsoft Office format

Supported encryption method

Word 6.0, Word 95

Weak XOR encryption

Word 97, Word 2000, Word XP, Word 2003

Office 97/2000 compatible encryption

Word XP, Word 2003

Weak XOR encryption from older Word versions

Excel 2.1, Excel 3.0, Excel 4.0, Excel 5.0, Excel 95

Weak XOR encryption

Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel XP, Excel 2003

Office 97/2000 compatible encryption

Excel XP, Excel 2003

Weak XOR encryption from older Excel versions


Other encryption methods are not supported.

Saving Documents

Protecting Records

Using Digital Signatures

Index

protecting, contents

protected contents

contents protection

encryption of contents

passwords for protecting contents

indexes,unprotecting

security,protecting contents

master passwords

form controls protecting

tables of contents,unprotecting

tables in text,protecting cells

draw objects,protecting

OLE objects,protecting

graphics,protecting

frames,protecting

sections,protecting

This help text for MS Windows , published from the OpenOffice.org Help files Release 2.1 under the Public Documentation License 1.0.