Once upon a time the Word .doc format was the de facto standard for word processing. Then Microsoft went and mucked it up with Word 2007, which introduced the XML based .docx format.

To be fair it is an improvement on clanky old .doc but it also meant that older versions of Word were unable to open document written in Word 2007 or later. Again, to be fair, there is the free Compatibility Pack available from Microsoft, but what if you haven’t got Word, and you get sent a .docx file? Well, there’s always OpenOffice or you could download the free Word Viewer, but this is an old program and it has a number of limitations.

There’s another alternative, how about TextMaker Viewer 2010. It will not only open password protected .docx files it also handles OpenOffice documents and a number of other popular word processor document formats.

Needless to say you can’t edit documents but they can be printed and exported as pdfs. There’s no catch, it’s free, though there is an annoying ‘nag screen’ but this can be disabled after the third time the program is opened by ticking the ‘Do not show again…’ box.

Adding password to a confidential word document could be required some times when you don’t want anyone to peek and see those confidential details.

You can easily add password to word document so that no one except those who know the password could open that word document.

Adding a password to a new or existing word document is same, and it is same with all the Microsoft office versions. Follow the procedure given below to add a password to a word document.

Open the word document or create a new one, now click File >> Save As option to save that document, this will open a new dialog box which ask you to give the name to this document.

Now enter the password to document, with which it will protected, you can also make this document as read only as shown, this way it can be read but cannot be edited.

This way your word document will be safe and protected with password required to open and view.

Windows Vista and Office 2007 are just over the horizon and are probably going to take a significant chunk out of most people is bank balances. If after buying these apps you find yourself a bit short of cash, then you should check out some of the great free software available for Windows.

The Simple Dollar have created a list of 30 Essential Free Programs For Windows. Listed are great programs like Firefox and Thunderbird that many people have heard of. But, did you know that Mozilla also offer Sunbird, which is a free calendaring application? More »