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Hi :(
Losing data is always "gutting".  I feel the pain too and have been there all too often myself.  

I would definitely try opening in MS Office just in case that does still work.  

Also i would try checking out usb-stick, emails, other machines, maybe back-up folders just to see 
if there was an unprotected fairly recent version lurking somewhere.  I'm not sure if data-recovery 
techniques would be worth a try.  If other people have to use the file then maybe one of them has 
the password written under their keyboard or on a post-it note beside their screen?  Perhaps in the 
file where hard-copies are kept?  Maybe in a introductory training book for new employees?  
Regards from 
Tom :)  

 From: David Stuckey <>
To: Tom Davies <> 
Cc: Gabriel Risterucci <>; "Users@Global.LibreOffice.Org" 
Sent: Thursday, 12 September 2013, 13:06
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] the password of LibreOffice

To the originator of this thread, I feel your pain and commiserate with you.  As to the solution... 
I don't know.  I think the best answer I have seen is to have a different password for every 
different type of file or web sight, i.e. all write files or all calc. files...even they can be 
individualized at will.  Then keep a special file with a benign, password protected, name that 
holds all the passwords.  The secure password for this file is carried around with you (until you 
have used it so many times that you know it by heart.) 
Of course, I inevitably forget to include a new password in the password file!
By the way, thanks to all who replied to my cry for help with the Formula/text difficulty in Calc.
Regards, David

David Stuckey, MBA. MHSA.

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 6:07 AM, Tom Davies <> wrote:

Hi :)
There are plenty of warnings out there and people take no notice of them.  I saw a hot tap with a 
warning notice over it saying "Warning the water might be hot".  People cease to even notice 
warning notices because they are far tooo common. 

I my office we used to carefully hide the servers in a locked cabinet behind a filing cabinet 
which meant that everyone knew where they were.  Now they are right in the middle of the office 
and people walk past them any time they walk around the office.  Consequently no-one notices them! 
My boss wanted me to label them with "Do not touch" signs so that kids wouldn't try playing with 
them but i managed to avoid it.  The kids don't go near them because they look boring but an 
exciting notice saying "Do not touch" would make them wonder why and make them curious to know 
what would happen if they did. 

Regards from
Tom :) 

 From: Gabriel Risterucci <>
Cc: "Users@Global.LibreOffice.Org" <>
Sent: Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 11:25

Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] the password of Libreoffice

2013/9/11 Tom Davies <>

Hi :)
You can always try opening it with MS Office.

I have opened password protected MS files in LibreOffice without even
being asked to type in a password.  I have been told the other way around
works too.  Both programs use different systems for password protection.

Another way might be to copy the file and then rename the file-ending to
.zip and then you should be able to poke around inside the coding of the
file.  I've not looked at a Calc file that way so i am not sure whether a
text-editor could help recover the information from "contents.xml".  Also i
am not sure if there is a single element that could be deleted to remove
the password protection.

Unfortunately, while it's true that old mso formats used "password
protection" as a simple access management tool, recent version (think docX)
and libreoffice files *do* encrypt the files.

Opening the file as a zip file will only yield ciphered files, except for
the mimetype one, which is not very useful.

Most security is more likely to hamper legitimate users than really slow
down a determined cracker.  Encryption is a classic at being more often
responsible for losing crucial or private data.

If done correctly, the "slow down" part would grow into many years. That's
the point of encryption, since a bruteforce attack is always possible with
every cryptosystems :-)

However, you're right; for most people this option is more like a trap if
it is not part of a greater document management system that does take care
of the details like password, keys, and allow for some kind of recovery.
Maybe there should be a warning box that explicitely state that the
document will be lost if the password is lost.

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