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  • LibreOffice Calc Removes Excel Spreadsheet Password Protection

    Posted on Stroumg Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Microsoft Office by version Questions: Microsoft Office LibreOffice Calc Removes Excel Spreadsheet Password Protection

    Viewing 6 reply threads
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      • #2334067
        Stroumg
        AskWoody Lounger

        I don’t know if this is a “feature” or a “bug”.

        I recently noticed that if I open a password protected Excel spreadsheet on a computer using LibreOffice Calc, I am required to enter the password – OK.

        If I then “Save As” the file with a new title, this new spreadsheet copy can be re-opened in Calc without reentering the password. If I move the spreadsheet to a computer with only Microsoft Office, I can also open this “new” file in Excel without entering a password.

        Is this the intended behavior? If it is, what is the point of password protecting a sensitive spreadsheet?

      • #2334102
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        You should select to save the file ‘with password’

        File –> Save. On the Save dialog box, check the box at the bottom left to Save with password.

        Attachments:
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2334154
        Stroumg
        AskWoody Lounger

        I agree if I were saving an unprotected spreadsheet in either Excel or Calc. However as a user, I should be able to assume that if I have assigned a spreadsheet file the security-related attribute of “password protected”, then my action of later editing and saving the changed original with a different name would mean that the new file inherits the original file’s security attribute and will remain encrypted until I make an overt act to remove that attribute. My Excel operates in this manner.

        My question is why can LO Calc, apparently by default, remove this attribute and allow an otherwise previously encrypted file to be saved as an un-encrypted file without my overtly removing that attribute?

        The other side of my question is that in the overall hierarchy of file attributes, why does the Excel spreadsheet file structure allow this security attribute to be changed without similar user action in another vendor’s spreadsheet program? For many users, the integrity of the file security setting is kind of a biggie.

      • #2334173
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        There is no onus on LO to behave in the same manner as Excel, only to produce the same result from calculations.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2334186
        Stroumg
        AskWoody Lounger

        I guess that’s a valid opinion if LO never expects to be taken seriously as a business or enterprise tool. In today’s world, people must take security seriously. Any modern software package that allows a user to unknowingly strip security protection from a file is an incredible risk to the organization.

        If I were a business operating in that type of situation, I would never allow LO to be used in any of my business processes. For what it’s worth I actually like LO 7x as a very cost-effective substitute for many Office users.

        • #2334254
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I guess that’s a valid opinion if LO never expects to be taken seriously as a business or enterprise tool.

          It is not serious enterprise tool. Its a free open open source for people who dont want (or need) to have payed version to create documents, tables and presentations. Its understandable that some functions are different and sometimes you must learn how to do things.

          In today’s world, people must take security seriously.

          Yes they must, but they should not expect, that the sotware will do everything itself. Software does, what you tell him to do. So its the person who needs to be carefull 😉

          By the way do you know the macro, that can unlock every password-protected file? Try it. Every password in Excel can be removed by this. I use it for many years. You wont believe, how many people can forgot their password 🙂

          Sub PasswordBreaker()

          Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer
          Dim l As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer
          Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer
          Dim i4 As Integer, i5 As Integer, i6 As Integer
          On Error Resume Next
          For i = 65 To 66: For j = 65 To 66: For k = 65 To 66
          For l = 65 To 66: For m = 65 To 66: For i1 = 65 To 66
          For i2 = 65 To 66: For i3 = 65 To 66: For i4 = 65 To 66
          For i5 = 65 To 66: For i6 = 65 To 66: For n = 32 To 126
          ActiveSheet.Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) & _
          Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & Chr(i3) & _
          Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
          If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then
          MsgBox “One usable password is ” & Chr(i) & Chr(j) & _
          Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & _
          Chr(i3) & Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
          Exit Sub
          End If
          Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
          Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
          End Sub

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

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          • This reply was modified 3 days, 7 hours ago by doriel. Reason: text formatting
        • #2334401
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Any modern software package that allows a user to unknowingly strip security protection from a file is an incredible risk to the organization.

          However, this is not what you describe as happening. The original file still has its protection, the content copied into a *new* file is a whole another issue.

          Copying any indirect metadata attributes along with content is very much not a given even in Excel. And for actual persistent protection attributes, Microsoft does have another thing they’d like to sell you.

      • #2334249
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I tested this in LO with an ODS file and “Save As” retains the password setting.
        The same happens if I save as XLSX.
        Opening the resulting XLSX, enter password. “Save As” retains the password setting.

        I don’t have Excel to produce a test file.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2334255
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        However as a user, I should be able to assume that if I have assigned a spreadsheet file the security-related attribute of “password protected”, then my action of later editing and saving the changed original with a different name would mean that the new file inherits the original file’s security attribute and will remain encrypted until I make an overt act to remove that attribute. My Excel operates in this manner.

        No.

        What if you want to edit, save and pass the file to someone else, without a password ? How will you do that ?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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