Restricting and Protecting Documents and Templates

Remove Formatting and Editing Restrictions in a Document

Before finalizing your document, you may want to remove the formatting and editing restrictions from the document. To do so, simply click “Restrict Editing” in the “Protect” section of the “Review” tab again to open the “Restrict Editing” pane, then, click “Stop Protection” at the bottom of the pane.


On the “Unprotect Document” dialog box, enter the password you used when you protected the document and click “OK.”


Avoid Making Inadvertent Changes to a Document

Once all changes have been made to your document and you’re ready to finalize it, you might want to protect the document from inadvertent changes. To do this, mark it as final.

Click the “File” tab.


On the “Info” screen, click the “Protect Document” button and select “Mark as Final” from the drop-down menu.


The following dialog box displays telling you that the document will be marked as final and saved.

Click “OK” to continue.


Another dialog box displays when the document has been marked as final and set as read-only. Click “OK” to return to the “Info” screen.


The next time you open the document, a yellow bar displays at the top of the document telling you that the document has been marked as final to discourage editing. Note that there is an “Edit Anyway” button. Clicking this button allows you to edit the document.

NOTE: Marking a document as final does not protect the document against changes, as evidenced with the “Edit Anyway” button. It simply discourages editing and prevents accidental editing. To prevent other people from making changes, restrict formatting and editing for the document, as discussed earlier.


If you find that the document is not final after all, you can turn the “Marked as Final” status. To do this, click the “File” tab again to access the “Info” screen. Notice that the “Protect Document” item is highlighted in yellow. Click the “Protect Document” button and select “Mark as Final” from the drop-down menu. The yellow highlight is removed immediately and the document can be freely edited.


Password Protect Your Document

You can also protect your document from being opened by anybody who shouldn’t have access. You can apply a password to the document, so the next time the document is opened, the user has to enter a password to access it.

This can be useful if you only want certain people to have access to the file. Apply a password to the file and make sure those people know the password.

To apply a password to a document, open the document and click the “File” tab.


On the “Info” screen, click the “Protect Document” button and then select “Encrypt with Password” from the drop-down menu.


On the “Encrypt Document” dialog box, enter a password and then click “OK.”


The “Confirm Password” dialog box displays. Enter your password again and then click “OK.”

The “Protect Document” item on the “Info” screen is highlighted in yellow and a message displays saying a password is required to open the document.


The next time someone opens the document, the “Password” dialog box displays. The password must be entered to continue opening the document.


To remove the password from the document, simply go to the “Info” screen again, click the “Protect Document” button, and select “Encrypt with Password” from the drop-down menu. Clear the Password edit box and click “OK” to remove the password.


The yellow highlight on the “Protect Document” item on the “Info” screen clears.

Coming Up Next…

Here we are at the end of Lesson 4, and you should be well on your way to becoming proficient at collaborating on documents in Word. In just four short days, you now know what you need to know to efficiently work with other people on one document. You can create templates, track changes, add comments, and restrict formatting and editing.

In the final lesson, we will wrap up the series with a discussion of versioning options in Word, comparing and combining documents, and sharing documents online using Microsoft OneDrive.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.