Checking Microsoft Office files for encryption conflicts | VDRPro

  • Updated

Product: VDRPro
Applies to: All managers and publishers

Certain embedded features in Microsoft Office files might conflict with the IRM Information Rights Management (IRM) provides security for downloaded documents. When IRM is applied, documents are encrypted before downloading, and users must enter their email address and password to view the documents. Exchange managers can revoke access at any time. document protection available in Intralinks exchanges. If you apply IRM protection to an Office file and find that users are encountering error messages when trying to open it, you can check the document for potential issues.

I want to

  • Check my Microsoft Office files for features that don't work with Intralinks document protection.
  • Remove unsupported features from the Office files in my exchange.

About this task

The following features can conflict with IRM document protection. 

  • Embedded password encryption
  • Hidden worksheets
  • Macros that hide document data (Note: other macros are supported)


  1. Open the Office file.
  2. Click File on the upper left of the menu bar.
  3. Click Info in the left-side pane.
  4. First, check the Protect Document / Workbook / Presentation section for embedded password encryption. 
    • If protection is applied, click Unprotect to remove it. You'll need the password to remove the protection.
  5. Next, refer to the Inspect Document / Workbook / Presentation section to check the file for hidden properties.
  6. Click the Check for Issues button > Inspect Document.
  7. In the Document Inspector window, ensure that all boxes are checked.
  8. Click Inspect
  9. Review the results list for items with a red exclamation point. 
    • While some items are fine (for example, the author's name), others will not work with the exchange IRM protection (for example, hidden worksheets in Excel files).
  10. Click the Remove All button next to an item to remove that content.*
  11. Click Reinspect to confirm that the content was removed.
  12. When finished, click Close.
  13. Save the file.
  14. Upload the new version to the exchange and test the file with IRM protection applied.

*In some cases, you might be unable to delete certain macros from the Document Inspector. If this is the case, you can manually remove items using the following steps.

  1. Click the circled arrow icon on the upper left to return to the file's content.
  2. Check the file for any macros that might have hidden data from your document.
    • In Word or Excel, click View Macros View Macros.
    • In PowerPoint, click View Macros.
    • Alternatively, you can press AltF11 to view macros in the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.
  3. Delete / remove any applicable items.
  4. If you like, you can run the Document Inspector again to ensure that all conflicting content was removed.
  5. Save the file.

Next steps

If your users continue to experience issues with IRM-protected Office files, or if you have any questions about unsupported features, our Support team will be happy to help.

Click Submit a Ticket to open a request. Or to speak directly with an agent, find our Support line in your region.

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