Decrypting old MS Word docs

Stephen R Laniel steve at
Fri Jun 3 05:32:06 UTC 2005

I found a pile of old MS Word documents -- probably from the
2.0 or 6.0 era -- that I wrote a long time ago, encrypted,
and promptly forgot the password to. Now I'd like to decrypt
them. Lots of googling only found me a lot of non-beerfree
tools, and it seems pretty silly to pay for such a thing. Is
there a free-software tool to handle cracking MS Word
passwords? Barring that, is the format of MS Word encryption
laid out anywhere? If so, I'm sure it's easy to write a
little tool myself to do what I need.

Stephen R. Laniel
steve at
+(617) 308-5571
PGP key:

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