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Locking text boxes is a great way to protect specific content in your document from changing, either accidentally or intentionally. Here’s how to lock your text boxes in Word.

Locking Text Boxes in Word

Let’s say you’re working on a document that other people on the same network have access to and you want to lock your text boxes, so they don’t get edited by mistake.

RELATED: How to Protect Parts of a Word Document from Editing

To make this work, we’re going to need to use the tools provided in the Developer tab. The developer tab is hidden by default, so go ahead and enable the tab to appear on the Ribbon if you haven’t already.

Once you have the Developer tab enabled, go ahead and open up your document that has the text boxes you want to lock and switch to the “Developer” tab. Here, select “Restrict Editing” in the “Protect” section.

Restrict editing in developer tab

Note: The Restrict Editing option is also available on the Review tab, but only appears if you have enabled Developer tab.

A Restrict Editing pane appears on the right where you can restrict editing permissions for all, or certain parts, of the document. Here, check the box next to “Allow only this type of editing in the document” in the “Editing restrictions” section, then keep “No changes (Read only)” selected in the drop-down menu in the same section.

Restrict permissions 2

Next, you need to select all of the content in your document except for the text boxes you want to lock. The easiest way to do this is to hit Ctrl+A to select everything in the document and then hold the Ctrl key while clicking each checkbox, in turn, to remove them from the selection.

Once you’ve selected the content, check the box next to “Everyone” under “Exceptions.” This makes it so that everyone is still able to edit the selected content.

exceptions to restrictions

Finally, select “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection” at the bottom of the “Restrict Editing” pane.

Start Enforcing Protection

Once selected, you’ll be prompted to enter a password for additional protection. Type a password and then click “OK.”

enter password

You’ll notice all the content except for the text boxes is now highlighted, meaning your text boxes can no longer be edited while the highlighted content can.

To remove the protection restrictions on the document, click “Stop Protection” at the bottom of the “Restrict Editing” pane.

stop protection

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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