How to restrict editing in Word

How to restrict editing in Word: In situations where multiple people are working on the same document, you may want to use Word editing protection to keep the text in the document intact. By doing this, you will show other users that you do not want to make further changes to this document.

As a result, the program will restrict editing of the document, because it will become read-only and you cannot make changes to it.

There is another way to protect – setting a password on a Microsoft Word document. But this does not protect the document from editing, since the encrypted document becomes unavailable for opening without entering the correct password. In this case, users will not have access to the document test.

The method we are considering: protecting a document from editing, differs from setting a password to open a Word document , because we provide access to the document to all other users, and only prohibit changes to the text of the file. In addition, we can allow editing only certain parts of the text of the document, forbidding changes to other parts of the document.

In this guide, you will learn how to prevent unauthorized changes to a document using the Word editing protection feature. You will also find instructions on how to disable edit protection in Word if this restriction is no longer required.

The proposed methods work the same in different versions of the Microsoft Word text editor: Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007.

How to enable protection of a Word document from editing

In some situations, we need to restrict editing in Word to prevent other users from changing the text of the document. At the same time, the Word document can be opened, but it will not be possible to make changes to it.

Go through a few steps to set the limit:

  1. Open an MS Word document on your computer.
  2. Enter the “Review” tab.
  3. In the Protect group, click the Protect button.
  4. In the dropdown menu, click Restrict Editing.
  5. The Restrict Editing panel opens on the right.
  6. In the Editing Restriction section, check the box next to “Allow only the specified way to edit the document:”.
  7. Select the “Read Only” editing restriction method.
  8. In the “Enable protection” section, click on the “Yes, enable protection” button.
  9. In the “Enable protection” window, in the “New password (optional):” field, enter the desired password, and in the “Password confirmation:” field, add it again.

Password protection from editing suggests that in order to remove restrictions on editing the contents of a Word document, you must enter the correct password to disable protection. Be aware that the document is not encrypted, so malicious users can change the file and remove the password.

If you leave the password fields blank, then for full access to editing the document, another user will just need to click on the “Disable protection” button in the “Restrict editing” area.

The document is now read-only.

How to restrict editing in Word with permission to edit part of a document

In a situation where you need to protect only a certain part of the document from changes, you can use limited editing in Word. In this case, part of the document can be edited as usual, while the other part will be protected from changes.

Do the following:

  1. In the window of an open Word document, go to the “Review” tab.
  2. Click the Protect icon in the Protect group.
  3. Select the Restrict Editing option that opened up in the dropdown menu.
  4. In the Restrict Editing area, select the check box next to Allow only the specified method of editing the document.
  5. In the list of editing restrictions, select “Read only”.
  6. Select those parts of the document (headings, paragraphs, sentences or words) that can be edited.

To select sections of text at one time in different places in a Word document, press and hold the “Ctrl” key, and then select the desired parts with the left mouse button.

  1. In the “Exceptions (optional)” option, you must select the users who are allowed to make changes to the content of the document. Select the “Everyone” group by checking the box next to this setting.
  2. Click the “Yes, enable protection” button.
  3. In the Enable Protection window, enter the password twice to protect the document.

How to find parts of a document that can be edited

In the Word document window, editable text is highlighted in color and in square brackets.

Thanks to this, you can visually search for sections of text that can be edited. To quickly find these parts of the document, you need to open the Restrict Editing area.

The “Your Permissions” option is set to “Highlight areas I can edit” by default. You can click on the “Find Next Area I Can Edit” or “Show All Areas I Can Edit” buttons to move to another part of the document.

How to remove protection for editing a document in Word

If the restrictions for editing a Word document are no longer relevant, you can remove the editing protection so that all users can work with this file.

Protection of the Word document from editing is enabled, consider the steps to remove these restrictions:

  1. After opening a Word document, go to the “Review” tab.
  2. Click “Protect” in the “Protect” group.
  3. Select Restrict Editing.
  4. In the Restrict Editing area, click the Disable Protection button.
  5. Enter the password in the Unprotect window.

After completing these steps, all users can edit this MS Word document.

Getting access to a full copy of a protected document

There is an easy way to bypass the editing restriction and get a complete copy of the protected document.

Do the following:

  1. Open a Word document in which editing is disabled.
  2. Press the “Ctrl” + “A” keys to select the entire contents of the document.
  3. Copy the highlighted document.
  4. Open a new Word document, and then paste the copied data there.
  5. As a result, you will have a complete copy of the original document, which you can edit.

How to Get a Copy of a Word File Using Google Docs

Now we will see how to remove protection in Word for editing using Google Docs (Google Docs).

Go through the steps:

  1. Open Google Docs and then click “Blank File”.
  2. In the “New Document” window, select the “File” menu, select “Open”.
  3. In the “Open file” window, go to the “Download” tab.
  4. Select a Word document on your computer or drag it to the dedicated area.
  5. Document content is editable in the Google Docs interface.

You can save the document to continue editing on your device.

  1. Go to the “File” menu.
  2. In the context menu, first select “Download”, and then “Microsoft Word (DOCX)”.

Open the Word file on your computer, now you can edit it.

Article Conclusions

Some users, while working with a Word document, need to restrict editing of the entire document or its individual parts. Microsoft Word has an edit protection feature that you can use from the application options. If the need for such a restriction has disappeared, you learned how to disable editing protection in Word so that the document becomes available for changes again.

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