How to encrypt your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 files

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There have been dozens of comments recently on my previous post about Changing the default reminder time in Outlook 2007.  The comments are not about the default reminder time for appointments… but rather the default reminder time for follow up flags.  The concern being that it is really strange that the default is 4pm and it seems there is no easy way to change that to something more acceptable (like 8am).

I would like to discuss this a little to hopefully help everyone out. Whilst on the surface it might look annoying (especially for those how have just moved to Outlook 2007)… there is actually a good reason why the default reminder is 4pm.

First lets talk about Outlook 2003

In Outlook 2003, medications a follow up flag is a follow up flag. You set a time and a date for the reminder and that is that.

In Outlook 2007 however, price there are different types of follow up flags. There is a “Today” follow up flag, urticaria a “Tomorrow” follow up flag, a “This Week”, a “Next Week” and a “Custom”. Obviously, if you use a “Today” follow up flag (which is the default), it will remind you today. If you set a “Tomorrow” follow up flag, it will remind you tomorrow.

The “Today” flag is designed to remind you about things that you need to finish before you go home from work today… hence why it the default is for it to remind you 1 hour before the end of your work day (which would be 4pm in most cases).

As the “Tomorrow” flag is designed to remind you about things to do tomorrow, it will remind you by default at the start of the next work day (8am in most cases).

So say you want to have your default reminder first thing tomorrow morning? Then it is easy to change the default flag that is set. Simply right click on where you currently set your flag, and then in the pop up menu click on “Set Quick Click”. Change the default to “Tomorrow” and your default reminders will now be 8am on the next business day.

Hope that helps clear up some of the confusion around follow up flags. I can understand why it would be confusion coming from Outlook 2003, however with the new flexibility to set different types of flags, Outlook 2007 gives you a lot more control over when you get your reminders.

’till next time!

PS. If you want to learn more about the default times, you can look at this Office Online help page –

Are you an Office freak from down-under?

On the weekend of the 15th and 16th of November, try a group of Aussie Office fanatics are putting together a conference called Office DevCon2008.  From what is on the agenda it looks like a great event for anyone involved in managing Office products in their workplace, seek or for those interested in getting a little more intimate with the Office 2007 suite, patient SharePoint and more.

Registration is free… and there might be sneak previews of Office 14 as well!

If you are in Sydney in mid November, make sure you check it out.  You never know, you might bump into yours truly there as well 🙂

You can find out more by visiting the Office DevCon 2008 website

’till next time!

So… you are sneaky.  You have some precious data you want to keep hidden.  Or your not so sneaky and just have some word documents that no one else should really see – for privacy or security or other reasons.  Well it might be a good idea to use the encryption built into Office 2007.

The encryption in Word, sickness Excel, viagra buy and PowerPoint 2007 basically turns your files into a mess that no one can read… unless they have the password.  In fact unless you get the password right, visit this there is no chance you can even open the file.

Before I let you know how to do it, I will quickly let you know about how strong this encryption really is.  In Office 2007 they use something called AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with a 128-bit key and SHA-1 hashing.  That probably sounds like a mouthful for most people, but let me put it into perspective.  This level of protection can be used to encrypt classified information up to the SECRET level in the US Government.  If it is that good, chances are your data will be safe (that is if you remember the password!)

To encrypt your document in Word 2007, Excel 2007, or PowerPoint 2007, it is really easy!

1) Click on the Office Orb
2) Go to the “Prepare” section
3) Click on “Encrypt Document”
4) Type in your secret password and click OK
5) Retype your secret password and click OK

I can not stress enough that you need to remember what that password is… because if you forget it, there is no chance you will ever open that document again – it is strong encryption!

’till next time!

PS – if you want to read more about the level of encryption, check out this article on Wikipedia –  And if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of Cryptography in Office 2007… visit David LeBlanc’s weblog, and in particular this article –

10 thoughts on “How to encrypt your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 files

  1. That’s the problem with it – you cannot re-save a file once encrypted as a normal non-encrypted file.


  2. What in the world (being nice) is an office orb? I can’t use this because I can’t find the office orb. Any hints? It’s not under the MS Office tools.

  3. To remove encryption/password you just need to open the encrypted file, and remove the password, ie, leave the password field blank, that’s it.

  4. In office 2007, you go to the Windows Orbe drop down > Prepare > Encrypt Document > and delete the password > save file.

  5. If you have accessed the file as you know the password then to remove encryption;
    1) Click on the Office Orb
    2) Go to the “Prepare” section
    3) Click on “Encrypt Document”
    4) Delete the password and click OK
    Hope this is what you meant.

  6. what is meant by the orb is the button on the left hand corner of the quick access bar next to the home tab.

  7. Yes that is correct, the orb is the button on the left hand corner of the quick access bar next to the home tab.
    the one with the logo.

  8. Is there a way to tell whether or not the file is properly encrypted(other than having to enter password when opening)? I have encrypted and password protected a file but when I look at it in Windows Explorer (and added encryption status column) it doesn’t show it as being encrypted. Thanks

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