How to Protect Cells in a Word 2010 Table Using A Text Form Field

You can protect cells in your Excel worksheet pretty easily, but protecting cells in an Microsoft Word Table – not so much, although it can be done.

How? Well you insert a Text Form field control into each cell where you want your users to input or modify values.

Then, you protect your document. Only those cells with the controls will allow changes. The process is a bit convoluted and I would not recommend using it with a complex document, but it works fairly well with a simple one.

Follow the steps below to learn how to protect and unprotect cells in a Word table:

  1. Create your table and key in the labels or values you would like to protect as you normally would.
  2. Select a cell where you would like users to enter data.
  3. Click the Developer tab.
  4. In the Controls group, click the Legacy Tools option and select Text Form Field.


  1. Continue to select input cells and insert controls until you are finished.
  2. In the Protect group, click Restrict Editing.
  3. Click Allow only this type of edits in the document.


  1. In the resulting task pane, select Filling In Forms from 2. Editing Restrictions, and then click Yes, start Enforcing Protection.


  1. Enter a password and confirm it.
  2. Click OK.


After you have enabled protection, Word will not allow you to select normal text. You can only select and input data in the cells containing a Text Form Field control. If your document contains elements and text other than the table, Word will protect everything but the Text Form Field controls.

I would almost always use an Excel worksheet instead of protecting a Word table like this, but if you need it, this is a good trick to know!


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About the Author

Carol Bratt

Carol holds A+, MCP, and MOS computer certifications and is the resident DCT Office expert. She trains the staffs of small law firms in the use of Microsoft Office applications and has authored many books covering Microsoft Office as well as written articles for Infopackets, TechnoLawyer, and Digital Harbor. For more Microsoft Office tips visit Carol's Corner Office or follow Carol on FaceBook and Twitter.

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