Protecting Word documents

Word 2016 2010 2007 2003
When working with Word documents you often need to limit the changes to the document. E.g., contract form should prohibit changes to the text, while making possible to enter necessary data of the opposite side.

To protect Word document, do the following:

   1.   On the Review tab, in the Protect group, click Restrict Editing:

Protect group in Word 2013

   2.   In the Restrict Editing task pane, under Formatting restrictions, select the Limit formatting to a selection of styles check box, and then click Settings... to specify which styles a reviewer can apply or change.

Protect document in Word 2013

   3.   In the Formatting Restrictions dialog box:

Formatting Restrictions in Word 2013
  • Under Styles, make sure that the Limit formatting to a selection of styles check box is selected.
  • Uncheck any styles you don't want to allow in the document, or click the Recommended Minimum button to have Office automatically select what it considers to be a minimum number of styles. Click All to check all styles and None to uncheck them all.
  • Under Formatting, select the check boxes next to the types of formatting that you want to allow or prevent.
  • Click OK to close Formatting restrictions dialog box.

   4.   If you want to allow only certain types of editing in the document, check the Editing restrictions box. This activates a dropdown list with four options:

Formatting Restrictions in Word 2013
  • Tracked changes - all changes are permitted, but they're automatically tracked
  • Comments - no changes are permitted, but comments can be inserted
  • Filling in forms - no changes are permitted, but data can be entered into forms
  • No changes - no changes are permitted - the document is read-only

   5.   Next, enter any Exceptions to the editing rules. If you have established user groups, they're listed; otherwise, click More users... and enter the user names for those to whom you want to give greater editing access in the Add Users dialog box that appears.

Add Users in Word 2013

   6.   Finally, click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection button if you're ready to apply the protection settings to your document.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

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