How to Restrict Editing in Word Documents

How to Restrict Editing in Word Documents


restrict editing in word document

If you share your documents with colleagues and friends, and want to restrict editing in word document. From any unauthorized editing of your document, than there’s a special feature included in Microsoft word 2007 and 2010, which allows you to restrict editing in word document or formatting your document. This feature comes in handy if you are sharing important official documents, but don’t want it to be edited without your knowledge. With this feature you can completely disable editing the whole document or set a certain paragraph editable and rest of the document un-editable. Thereby restrict editing in word document by any third person.

In a Hurry ? You can watch this short video..

If you want to completely password protect your sensitive documents you can read this article on “How to password protect your word document”, so that no body can open those files without a password.



Open your document in Word and on the top menu click on this restrict editing in word documentReview” button.


On the extreme right on this window click on the icon “Protect Document” than from the menu that pops up click on>>”Restrict Formatting and editing” as shown below.

restrict editing in word document






Than you will get this option.

restrict editing in word document

Here under the “Restrict Formatting and Editing” options, and under the Formatting restrictions put a check mark by clicking on “Limit formatting to a selection of styles” and also under the “Editing restrictions” put a check on the “Allow only this type of editing in the document” and from the drop down options choose “ No changes(Read only)”

Choosing these two options will basically protect your whole Document. Readers can open and read your documents but can not edit or format anything on the document without the password (More on that later)


But If you decide to allow your readers to be able to edit only some portion of your document. All you have to do is to select that part of the document before you start enforcing protection.

To do that, first decide the portion of the document you want to allow editing. Left mouse click at the beginning of that part of the doc and drag over the portion of the document up to the end point. The selected portion of the document will be highlighted with a Blue color (you probably already know that if you do a lot of copy pasting).

This feature could be handy, if for example you have thesis or some sensitive documents. And would like to have opinion from your friend about a certain portion of the document content only. Which he or she can re-write and modify for you. Where as the rest of the document remains safe, no un-authorize editing will be allowed.

STEP 5:   Once you have selected the portion, now under the option “Exceptions (Optional)” (select parts of the document and choose users who are allowed to freely edit them) put a check mark on “everyone” but on a shared computer you can specify the user name too. Very useful feature to Restrict editing in word document, by un-authorized personal.

restrict editing in word document 

As shown here.


Once set, now at the bottom of this option window click on “Yes start Enforcing Protection” Once you click on this, you will be prompted for Password.



restrict editing in word document


Here Enter your Password, you will need to re-enter your password, do so, than click on “OK”. Your document is now protected. you can now save your document.


Next time if anyone opens this document, it will open. They can read but can not edit anything. If any one with any bad intentions tries to modify your document may be just for fun or to distort information’s, than word will instantly display this information.

restrict editing in word document


But as explained in STEP: 4 above, if you have selected certain portions of the document allowed to edit, that portion of the text will be highlighted with a light yellow color on the selected portion of the document which the reader can edit and format.






If you need to remove restrictions. and disable it, than simply open your document in word, and try to edit, word will display the following warning

restrict editing in word document


Your Permission “ This document is protected from Unintentional editing you may only view this region”

At the bottom of this box click on “Stop protection”, you will be asked for password, enter your password and click “OK”






restrict editing in word document




After that you will see the following box, here uncheck everything you checked earlier,





at this point word will again display the following warning.

restrict editing in word document

“If you make this change in document protection, Word will ignore all the exceptions in this document”

“Do you want to remove the ignored exceptions?

Click on “YES” button and save back your document.

That’s it. It’s a very useful Word feature and can be used in Word and Excel also. We all share our office documents and other sensitive files too. with this feature you can rest assured that no one can manipulate or twist any information’s by editing your documents.

RESTRICT EDITING IN WORD DOCUMENT (2010): Procedure in word 2010 is almost same. open your document Go to “File” tab then click on “Info” > “Protect Document” button under “Permissions” and there select the option “Restrict Document” from here on follow from STEP: 3 (as above)

Hope this article was of help. You may also like to know “HOW TO PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR WORD DOC

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2 thoughts on “How to Restrict Editing in Word Documents”

  1. It is truly a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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