Nothing original here, but I’m all for pointing people to good content when I find it. In this case, it’s how to remove edit restrictions from .docx files. Keep in mind, this won’t help with fully protected documents, but if you need to update a form and can’t find the password, this will help. The steps, clarified by a user in the post comments, are below. Kudos to the original author.
- Make a copy of the original document and rename it to have the .zip extension.
- Extract .zip file and in the contents find \word\settings.xml.
- Edit settings.xml to remove the XML element beginning with “w:documentprotection”. Remove everything including < and > and save the file.
- Open the yourforname.zip in 7zip
- Copy the \word directory with edited xml to the same location in your yourforname.zip (overwrite the original \word directory).
- Rename yourforname.zip to yourformname.docx.
- Do a little dance and be happy that this episode of your life is now over.