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I would like to open a password protected Word document on my iPad. I've found paid solutions but nothing for free. Am I missing an option?

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Try GoodReader which is very inexpensive ($0.99) and most useful app on iPad. I use it all the time both on iPhone and iPad.

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The free GMail app can open password protected .docx attachments.

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There is also Documents Viewer for 1.99 USD:

Documents Viewer allows you to preview Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents on iPad as Microsoft Office originally displays them.

Documents Viewer gives possibility to open password-protected files, print and convert them to PDF with headers, footers, comment section and other layout elements disregarded in simple preview.

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