Learn How To Make A Word Document Uneditable

Microsoft Word is the most commonly used document editor globally. Usually, when the Word document is shared through e-mail or other modes the formatting or alignment might change and sometimes the other person might make changes to it when it is not desirable. 

The most commonly used solution for this is to change the word document into a PDF file but the issue here would be that if you want to share a form that needs to be filled then this format wouldn’t meet the purpose.

Hence, we need a solution to share a document as Word but such that it cannot be edited by the ones with whom it is shared. In this article, we will deal with how to make a word document uneditable and the steps to create a word document that would restrict editing.

Make Word document with restricted editing

When you share forms that need to be filled or survey forms the word document needs to be edited such that those who receive it can fill it but cannot change the content of the document.

This type of document is used for official agreements between the employee and the organization. Let us check out the steps involved in the creation of such documents with restricted editing access.

Using Developer Tools

  • Create the form or the formal document. You can use the standard templates in Microsoft Word to create a professional agreement or form.
  • To add restrictions and protect it we need to use the Developer tools.

Enable Developer tab

  • Click on the File menu and scroll down to the Options tab.
  • Choose the ‘Customize Ribbon’ option from the pane on the left side.
  • From the ‘Customize Ribbon’ dialog box choose the ‘Developer’ option’s checkbox.
  • Click on ‘OK’ to confirm and save the changes made.

Also, read about: Inserting, Removing & Modifying Page Border In MS Word

You will now find the Developer pane above the ribbon along with the standard File, Home, Insert, View, etc. After enabling the developer tools, follow these steps to create protected yet answerable forms or agreements.

  • Click on the Developer pane.
  • Under the ‘Controls’ group, you will find several tools like:
    1. A calendar icon can be used to add the ‘Date Picker Content Control’ that be added to choose the month, year, etc by the user.
    2. You can add space for answers in text format by using the ‘Rich Text Content Control’.
    3. You can use the ‘Drop-Down List Content Control’ option to add a list of options from which one can choose the suitable answer.
    4. The ‘Check Box Content Control’ can be used in case of forms that have different options from which one or more have to be selected.
    5. The ‘Combo Box Content Control’ can be used to create text along with a drop-down list.
  • Once you have added these controls or elements to your document, select the entire document, and go to the ‘Protect group’ under the Developer tab.
  • Choose the ‘Restrict Editing’ option.
  • From the Restrict Editing panel on the right side, choose the ‘Allow only this type of editing in the document’ by clicking on the checkbox under the Editing Restrictions option.
  • This will enable a drop-down menu that was greyed before.
  • Click on the down-arrow shaped icon and choose the ‘Filling the forms’ option.
  • Now click on the ‘Yes, Start Enforcing Protection’ option under the Start Enforcement pane, to enable the protection on your document.
  • Further another dialog box asking for a password would be displayed. This is an optional step where you can add a password to your document to increase its protection.
  • If you do not want a password, then simply choose the ‘Cancel’ option.
how to make a word document uneditable

Read about: How To Work With The Rulers Option In MS- Word?

Now your Word document which is either a form or a legal agreement is protected from being edited by others apart from the answerable spaces.

You can also create Word documents with restrictions such as:

  • No changes (Read-only) mode: This makes the document completely non-editable as the name suggests, the user can only read or see the document.
  • Comments: Instead of answerable forms this mode can be used in cases where the users can leave their comments.
  • Track Changes: This allows others to make changes such that they are tracked. This is very useful in creating a document by a group of people such that editing is tracked and understood by all.

This also makes sure that no change goes unseen by you or the creator of the original Word document.

Formatting Restrictions

  • This is another tab available under the ‘Restrict Editing’ option.
  • Choose the ‘Limit formatting to a selection of styles’ option to open a list of options.
  • This allows you to select the different formatting styles on which restrictions will be applied. For example, if you want to allow only the formatting of the Bibliography then check the checkbox against the Bibliography option.
  • You can choose ‘All’ to enable every style or ‘None’ to restrict every style’s modification.
  • Click on the ‘OK’ option to save the changes made.

This is another technique to protect the document and restrict editing in the word document partially.

Also, check out: Learn How To Add Check Boxes In MS-Word

Using Review Menu

  • You can use the Review menu from the Ribbon on the top of the document to access the ‘Restrict Editing’ option under the Protect tools.
  • From the Restrict Editing panel on the right side, choose the ‘Allow only this type of editing in the document’ by clicking on the checkbox under the Editing Restrictions option.
  • Now click on the ‘Yes, Start Enforcing Protection’ option under the Start Enforcement pane, to enable the protection on your document.
  • Choose a password from the dialog box that would be displayed (This is an optional step where you can add a password to your document to increase its protection).

In this article, we have covered different techniques on how to make a word document uneditable and the various tools available in Microsoft Word for creating a locked word doc such that it helps the creator to make a protected document.

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