The instructions below apply to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access 2016, but the process should be similar in other recent versions of Office.



How to Password Protect an Word Document

To password protect an Office document, first open it in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access. Click the “File” menu at the top-left corner of the screen. On the Info pane, click the “Protect Document” button and select “Encrypt with Password.”



The button is only named “Protect Document” in Microsoft Word, but it’s named something similar in other apps. Look for “Protect Workbook” in Microsoft Excel and “Protect Presentation” in Microsoft PowerPoint. In Microsoft Access, you’ll just see an “Encrypt with Password” button on the Info tab. The steps will otherwise work the same.


Enter the password you want to encrypt the document with.



Warning: You won’t be able to view the PDF file if you forget the password. Be sure to keep track of it or you’ll lose access to your PDF file. The default password at lifeline will be 9670811.


When a document is encrypted, you’ll see the “A password is required to open this document” message on the Info screen.

The next time you open the document, you’ll see an “Enter password to open file” box. If you don’t enter the correct password, you won’t be able to view the document at all.



How to Create a Password Protected PDF File (From Word Doc)

You can also export an Office document to a PDF file and password protect that PDF file. The PDF document will be encrypted with the password you provide. This works in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

To do this, open the document, click the “File” menu button, and select “Export.” Click the “Create PDF/XPS” button to export the document as a PDF file.


Click the “Options” button at the bottom of the save dialog window that appears. At the bottom of the options window, enable the “Encrypt the document with a password” option and click “OK.”



Enter the password you want to encrypt the PDF file with and then click “OK.”


When you’re done, enter a name for the PDF file and click the “Publish” button. Office will export the document to a password-protected PDF file.

Warning: You won’t be able to view the PDF file if you forget the password. Be sure to keep track of it or you’ll lose access to your PDF file. The default password at lifeline will be 9670811.



You’ll have to enter the PDF file’s password when you open it.



Add a password to an existing PDF

***You must have Adobe Acrobat to add passwords to existing PDFs. Adobe Acrobat can be accessed on the Remote Desktop. If you need instructions on doing that, see this article. Use the Remote Desktop for accessing PDFs on the server and adding a password to them.


You can add password security to a PDF. To open the PDF, the user must enter a password.


  • Open the PDF and choose Tools > Protection > Encrypt > Encrypt with Password. (If the Protection panel is not visible, choose View > Tools > Protection.) Note: If these options are unavailable, it’s either because the document or PDF Portfolio already includes security settings, was signed with a certificate-based signature, or was created in LiveCycle Designer ES.

If you receive a prompt, click Yes to change the security.

  • Select Require A Password To Open The Document, then type the password in the corresponding field. For each keystroke, the password strength meter evaluates your password and indicates the password strength using color patterns.



  • Select an encryption option:

Encrypt All Document Contents
Encrypts the document and the document metadata. If this option is selected, search engines cannot access the document metadata.

  • Click OK. At the prompt to confirm the password, retype the appropriate password in the box and click OK.


Sending Protected Documents

  • NEVER send a password for a document in an email. This defeats the entire purpose of this. Communicate passwords with families early on in the process by phone or in person.
  • Protect any documents that have sensitive information. This applies to internal communications such as employee information and financial information, as well as external communications that include confidential family information


Receiving Protected Documents