Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Allowing Only Comments in a Document.

Allowing Only Comments In a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 28, 2018)

Word includes the ability to protect your document so that only you can make changes to it; everyone else must add their changes by adding annotations or comments. If this type of document protection appeals to you, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Protect Document tool within the Protect group. Word displays the Protect Document pane at the right side of your document (Word 2007). If you are using Word 2010 or a later version click the Restrict Editing tool in the Protect group. Word displays the Restrict Formatting and Editing pane (Word 2010) or the Restrict Editing pane (Word 2013 and Word 2016.)
  3. In the Editing Restrictions section of the pane, choose the Allow Only This Type of Editing In the Document check box. Word enables the drop-down list under the checkbox.
  4. Using the drop-down list, choose Comments.
  5. Click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. Word displays the Start Enforcing Protection dialog box.
  6. Enter a password (twice) in the dialog box.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. Save the file as normal.

With this type of protection turned on, people can still load and read the document. The only difference is that they cannot change anything in the document. The only thing they can do is add comments, which you can later review and act upon as desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6044) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Allowing Only Comments in a Document.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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