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How to Enable or Disable Editing in Word Documents

There are occasions when you want to shield your document from changes, whether you’re posting a working document or publishing it online. Create a read-only document in Microsoft Word 2013 by disabling editing and using a password to prevent anyone from editing or reformatting it. You can also handle permissions without opening Word by using the file’s properties.

With Restrict Editing, you can keep a document secure.

You want to limit editing to prevent others from making changes to a text. Restrict Editing can be found under the Review tab. Select No Changes from the Editing Restrictions drop-down menu (Read-Only).
Although a password isn’t needed, you can use one for added document protection. To create a password, select Yes, Start Enforcing Security from the drop-down menu. Select OK after entering and verifying a password.
You may also use the Exceptions option to grant access to the document to particular individuals.

Disable the document security.

Tap Stop Security to turn off the protection. You’ll need to enter your password and select OK if you activated password protection.

Restrict just formatting changes.

Select Restrict Editing from the Review tab and check the box next to Formatting Restrictions to limit formatting changes. Check the box to restrict formatting in the pop-up window. To limit all styles, uncheck them all, then check the desired formatting options and click OK.

Restrict changes to certain parts of a document.

Select the area to be limited and press Block Authors from the Review tab to limit changes to a particular area of a shared document without making it read-only. A dotted line and an icon indicate the secured area. Press Release All of My Blocked Areas to undo. After saving, the changes take effect.

Set a document’s status to “Final.”

When you mark a Word document as final, it becomes read-only and editing and formatting are disabled. Mark as Final from the Protect Document menu in the Info option. When used alone, this option is not intended to be secure: if the document is not secured in any other way, any user may delete the Mark as Final status. If you want to make sure no further changes are made to the file, combine this option with other editing restrictions.

If the document has already been restricted to read-only mode, labeling it as final means the owner has finished editing it and considers it finished.

Encrypt the document with a password to make it read-only. Select Encrypt with Password from the Protect Document menu under the Info option.

Author: Olivia Smith is a Microsoft Office expert and a full-time blogger with 5 years of experience in the technology industry. She has written technical blogs, white papers, and reviews for a variety of websites, including office.com/setup.