Save your Document as Read Only in MS Word


There may be occasions where you want to send your document to your colleagues, but you don’t want them to edit  your work. There are more than one way to make your document read only.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to create your document as you normally would and then, out of Word, find your document and change the properties to read only.

There is a way to make this happen while you are still within Word as well.

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Create your document as you normally would.
  2. Click the Office button and click Save As, or click F12 to display the Save As dialog box. You all know I always opt for the method with the least keystrokes and mousing!
  3. Specify the name and location of your file as you would like it to be saved.
  4. Click the Tools button and select General Options to display the dialog box.
  5. In the dialog box you can specify a password and read-only recommendation for your file.
  6. Click on OK to close the dialog box
  7. Click on Save to save your file.

There is one caveat to this method: Anyone can simply open your document and use the Save As option to make their own copy of your document.

There is another option that may also do this for you and that is saving your document as a form, which is easily protected.


Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Display the Review tab of your Ribbon.
  2. In the Protect group, click the Protect Document tool. Word will now display the Protect Document pane at the right-hand side of your document.
  3. In the Editing Restrictions section of the pane, select Allow Only This Type of Editing In the Document checkbox.
  4. Word wil now display the drop-down list under the checkbox.
  5. Using the drop-down list, select Filling In Forms.
  6. Click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. Word will now display the dialog box.
  7. Enter a password two times.
  8. Click on OK.

Save your document as you normally would.

Now, changes cannot be made to your document unless someone knows the password you assigned to it!

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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