Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Opening a Document as Read-Only.

Opening a Document as Read-Only

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 7, 2020)

1

There may be times when you want to open a file as read-only. This means you will not be able to save any changes to the file you are loading. You can use Save As (press F12) in order to save the document to a different filename, however. Opening a file as read-only is self-insurance so you don't inadvertently mess up your file.

To open a document as read-only, follow these steps once you start Word:

  1. Press Ctrl+O. Word displays the Open dialog box. (In Word 2013 you'll need to click Computer | Browse after pressing Ctrl+O. In later versions of Word, click on Browse after pressing Ctrl+O).
  2. Locate the file you want to open and then click once on the file name.
  3. Click on the down-arrow at the right side of the Open button. Word displays the different ways you can open the file.
  4. Choose Open Read-Only from the drop-down menu.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9894) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Opening a Document as Read-Only.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Grouping Drawing Objects

Drawing objects are easily added to a document. You can group these objects so they are easier to manage by following the ...

Discover More

Squaring Table Cells

Inserting a table is fast and easy in Word. You may want to make sure that the cells in the table are as square as ...

Discover More

Determining if a Document is Corrupt

Think you might have a corrupt document? There is no easy way to tell if this is the case, but there are some things you ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Deleting the Open Document File

Want to delete the document you are currently viewing? Word doesn't provide a way to do it, but you can use the macro in ...

Discover More

Changing the Default File Name

When you first save a new file, Word bases the name of that file on the contents of the start of the first paragraph in ...

Discover More

Setting a Default Document Format

Word allows you to save your documents in a variety of different formats. You can specify the format when you actually ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 6?

2021-08-24 20:19:16

Sammuel

I can't seem to do this on a document saved on One Drive. I can do this on documents saved to my PC or server, but on One Drive the arrow beside the "Open" button does NOT open the drop-down menu.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.