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How Do I Password Protect a TextEdit Document On My Mac?

I would like to ‘password protect’ a TextEdit document on my Mac.

I have a TextEdit document that contains sensative personnel information. I want to ‘password protect’ it on my Mac, so that only I can open it.
Vince Smith

Comments: 4 Responses to “How Do I Password Protect a TextEdit Document On My Mac?”

    2 years ago

    The best way to do this is to use Pages instead of TextEdit. Pages has a built-in password protection function. Just go to File, Set Password and then you'll need a password to open the file again. It actually encrypts the file, so it isn't just a lock, but real protection.

    You even get the option to save the password to your keychain. So while you are logged into your account on your Mac, you can open and close the file normally. But if you put the file somewhere else, say on an external drive, and someone takes that drive and tries to open it, they wouldn't have the password.

    If you really want to stick with TextEdit, it becomes more difficult to do. You can save the file as a zip file using encryption. But then when you want to view the file again you basically have to unzip it, saving a copy of the file you can view. Then if you make changes you'd need to zip uo the new changed file and delete the old zip file.

    You can also create an encrypted Disk Image to hold the TextEdit file. But that also involves many steps to open the Disk Image, then view/edit the file, then close the Disk Image. The Pages method is much better.


    Another option is to use the Notes app, which can have locked notes.

    Also note that it is common for people who use third-party password managers like 1Password to simply create "note" entries in their password databases with various pieces of information. Then it is encrypted along with your passwords.

    Suzanne Moore
    2 years ago

    1. To password protect using Microsoft Mac:Word 2008 – With the document open, select “Word / Preferences / Personal Settings – Security”.
    2. To password protect using Microsoft Mac:Excel 2008 – With the document open, select “File / Save or Save As” / “Options...” at the bottom of the popup window while doing a “Save As”.
    3. There doesn’t appear to be a built in password protect capability using Microsoft Mac:Powerpoint 2008.

    2 years ago

    I don't even think any Microsoft app from 2008 would be 64-bit, so they wouldn't work on Catalina or newer. But you can protect in Word just like you can in Pages. In the current version of Word, it is under Tools, Protect.

    Suzanne Moore
    2 years ago

    I agree. The only reason why old Word versions are applicable to some of us is because there are lots of us who still use an older OS and compatible 32-bit applications due to 1) our older computer model is no longer supported for OS upgrades or 2) we have voluntarily stopped upgrading our OS past Mojave (10.14) so to avoid and/or postpone the expense of having to upgrade to 64-bits versions of some of our pricy software applications, e.g., Microsoft Office or Wolfram Mathematica.

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