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  1. #1
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    Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Hi all,

    I am creating a database that contains links to documents I created in word. When a user clicks a link and the document opens, i must ensure that the document cannot be modified! (I do not have access to Adobe Acrobat Writer!!!) I would like to run my approach by some of the experts here in the lounge and see if i am approaching this in the most effective manner.

    My Method:
    1. I create the document in Word and save it as a single File Web Page (*.mht, *.mhtml)
    2. The link points to this file and when clicked, it opens in the default browser....obviously it is uneditable!
    3. When saving the doc in Word, I add a password. I notice Word 2003 has a new password option that makes a document read-only (like a web page). (This is not the same as a form password, or a password for comments only...etc as the older versions allow!)
    4. If the user attempts to open the document in word, it is uneditable (unless they have a password!)

    My Q's
    1. Is this a good approach...is there any advice that you can give me to improve my approach?
    2. This new password option in Word 2003 - How stable is it? Has anyone had problems with it? Is it compatible with older versions of Word and other word processors?

    Tx for any other input. (Remember...I want no unauthorised editing of a document!)
    Regards,
    Rudi

  2. #2
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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    You can select various levels of protection. The "old" Office 97/200 compatible version isn't very secure, the newer ones are more difficult to crack.

    If you apply the new read-only protection in Word 2003, the document will also be locked when opened in older versions (I tested in Word 2002).

    However, users can still copy the contents of the document into a blank new document, edit it and save it over your document...
    If you protect the document for forms, the user cannot select and copy text (in protected sections). But the document could be printed, scanned and OCR'ed into a new document...

  3. #3
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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Would you recommend saving it with a Forms protection? (It will be harder to make a soft copy of the doc if its text cannot be selected.)

    PS: what do you mean when you say (in protected areas)?
    Regards,
    Rudi

  4. #4
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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Protecting a document for forms might be better - it prevents the user from selecting and copying text.

    In a document consisting of multiple sections, you can specify which sections will be protected. The user can enter and edit text in unprotected sections; in protected sections only form fields (created using the Forms toolbar) are available for text entry.

  5. #5
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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Wow...this is new...I did not realise protection could be added to only certain sections!! This is interesting!
    Tx
    Regards,
    Rudi

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    I would store the files in a network directory that only I have write privileges for. Let the users have read access but not write access.

    This way you won't need to worry about passwords, file formats and the like - the network security settings will give you a central location to control what type of access the users get.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Hi Rudi

    Just another angle here. It sounds like your project is a good candidate for a .CHM help file, with your "links to documents" appearing as the TOC and the individual HTML docs constituting the help file topics. It sounds like you don't want users to be able to make any changes at all, so the CHM display would fit in nicely. As you modify the source files, you can simply rebuild the CHM with a click (or two <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>) of a button.

    If you want an even stronger level of protection, I can post a method I've used to encrypt the help file so that it can't be decompiled. You then use a (protected) VBA project to decrypt and display in a WebBrowser control. You can even protect against copying. It's not totally bulletproof, but pretty fiddly to circumvent.

    Alan

    Banal example:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Tx for the input Andrew. Network options are out of the question as users will be carrying laptops around, and I want the DB and link files to be on their PC's!
    Cheers
    Regards,
    Rudi

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Alan,
    Thanx for sharing this with me. I am happy with the results I'm getting currently. Using HTML and read-only protection, the user cannot change the document in either the browser or Word. If at any stage I feel this needs to change, I know where to come to for some more advice.
    Tx for that info!
    Cheers
    Regards,
    Rudi

  10. #10
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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2

    As a completely different thought, you could convert your document to a series of one-page GIF images and use a form in the database to display them using an image control. That would be difficult to modify...

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    Are you sure your users aren't able to change the HTML file but going to view source and making the changes? The forms protection is a safer way to go.

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    And yet some more possibilities.

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2

    I already thought about that approach. If I do this, I loose hyperlink ability... <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15> The table of contents in the doc is hyperlinked and a gif or other picture format wipes away the hyperlinking!!

    Tx for the suggestion though!
    Regards,
    Rudi

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    Re: Prevent unauthorised editing of a doc! (Word 2003)

    <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> - Alan... you can rest now...you have provided me with too much to think about!!! You are making me tired!! BIG CHEERS for your support and links. I really appreciate it. I am happy with my current situation and its working well now. As i said in my previous reply..."I know where to run to if I hit a snag...or need advice now!!"

    Cheers


    Karen...Thx for the input. I have already considered this approach with the help of some suggestions from Hans. I'll continue with what I have currently, but all your input is valuable and taken to heart!
    Tx
    Regards,
    Rudi

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