Word 2007 password bug

Office for Mere Mortals helps people around the world get more from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Delivered once a week. free.


A curious little bug in Word 2007.

Writing a book means delving into details and finding the unexpected – that happened as we prepared Privacy and Security in Microsoft Office.

According to Microsoft, Office passwords can be up to 255 characters, however our tests of Office 2007 found an interesting and apparently undocumented bug in Word 2007.

Word 2007 has a limit of 15 characters in the password entry field under Save | Save As | General Options …

Word 2007 - Password limited to 15 characters image from Word 2007 password bug at Office-Watch.com

Typing a 16th or more character will cause a little ‘ping’ sound on your computer, that’s all. If you paste in a password only the first 15 characters are accepted.

However if you go to Office | Prepare | Encrypt document to enter a password you can enter a full 255 characters:

Word 2007 - password NOT limited to 15 characters image from Word 2007 password bug at Office-Watch.com

This only happens in Word 2007; Word 2003 and Word 2010 accept longer passwords in the same dialog.

Excel 2007 and Powerpoint 2007 has a longer password field in both the Save/Save As dialog and Encrypt Document dialog.

Privacy and Security in Microsoft Office has a lot more about password protecting Office documents including some simple tricks to make encrypted documents much harder to hack.


Want More?

Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office. Independent since 1996. Delivered once a week.