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. Office 2016 was used for the instructions below.

  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 password.

    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.