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How to Protect Documents with Editing Restrictions in Word 2016-2007

Want to lock a document so that it cannot be edited without the password? There are a few options to protect a Word document to help prevent it from being changed or edited. This tutorial shows how to apply editing restrictions to a Word document in Office 2016/2013/2010/2007/2003.


How to protect document with editing restrictions in Word 2016/2013/2010

Use these steps below you can lock down or restrict entire or a portion of the document from editing.

Step 1: Open a Word document, click File tab and choose Info.

Step 2: Click the Protect Document, and select Restrict Editing option to open Restrict Editing pane.

Select Restrict Editing

Tip: If you want to lock down specific parts of a document, you can open a document and navigate to the page or paragraph that you want to protect from editing. Click on Review, and select Restrict Editing option to open Restrict Editing pane on the right-side of the document.

lock a portion of document

Step 3: On the Restrict Editing pane, select Allow only this type of editing in the document check box and select an option from the drop-down list. You can allow other reviewers to only track changes, enter comments, or fill in forms. You can even restrict the document such that other people can only read it and make no changes.

When done, click the Yes, Start Enforcing Protection button.

Start Enforcing Protection

Step 4: In the Start Enforcing Protection dialog, enter and reenter password and click OK.

type password

Tip: This does not fully protect the document (the document is not encrypted). It only helps to prevent people from turning off the editing restrictions. For a better protection, encrypt a document.

Step 5: When close the current Word document, click Save to save your change.

Save changes

Step 6: The next time you open the document, it opens as read-only. To open the document normally again, select Edit Document from the View menu. The document is displayed normally again, but you cannot edit it until the protection is removed. See more ways on how to edit a locked word document.

Edit Document

To remove the restriction, click the Stop Protection, after entering correct password you can to unlock the current Word document for editing. See more ways to unprotect word document without password.

Stop protection

How to protect document with editing restrictions in Word 2007

In Word 2007, click the Review tab, click Protect Document in the Protect group, click Restrict Formatting and Editing option to open Restrict Editing pane on the right-side of the document.

Click Protect Document

Step 2: In the Restrict Formatting and Editing pane, under Editing restrictions, select the Allow only this type of editing in the document check box. Then select one option from the drop-down menu. Under Start enforcement, click the Yes, Start Enforcing Protection button.

Editing Restrictions

Which Editing Restrictions type should you apply?

Tracked changes: When this option selected, anyone can edit this Word document but the editing process will be tracked and the changed texts will display in red.
Comments: Selecting this option the user only can enter comments in this current Word document.
Filling in forms: This option only allows users to edit the forms in the current document.
No changes(Read only): This option restricts anyone from making any editing on the Word document.

Step 3: In the Start Enforcing Protection dialog, enter and reenter your password and click OK.

Restricts anyone from making any editing

When close this document, save your change to make this protection for it to take effect.