University Systems help center

Encrypt PDF files using Microsoft Word 2007 or newer

Microsoft Word 2007 (or newer) encrypts information using a "Protect" function.  This function does not simply passphrase-protect a file, but it encrypts is using AES encryption.

  1. With your document open, select the File tab.
    Encrypt PDF Word 1
  2. Click Save As and then choose a desired location for the document to reside.
    Encrypt PDF Word 2
  3. From the "Save As" dialogue box, select PDF from the "Save as type" dropdown list.
    Encrypt PDF Word 3
  4. Click the Options... button.
    Encrypt PDF Word 4
  5. From the "Options" dialogue box, check Encrypt the document with a passphrase.
    Encrypt PDF Word 5
  6. You are now prompted to enter a passphrase.  It is recommended that you use a strong password or passphrase.  Once finished, click OK.
    Encrypt PDF Word 6
  7. From the "Save As" dialogue box, click Save.
    File Encrypt PDF Word 7
  8. As the file now is encrypted, the passphrase will be required to open it.