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 Form Field Changes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 31, 2021)
Word includes the ability to protect your document so users can only make changes to the document within form fields. Typically this is done just before saving your newly created form document as a template. Without such protection, people can still use the form fields, but they can also make changes anywhere else desired in the document. If you require this type of document protection, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Start Enforcing Protection dialog box.
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, except what you set up for them to change in form fields. (Don't confuse the protection discussed in this tip with the protection afforded by the file password options. That type of protection was discussed in other issues of WordTips.)
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10414) 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 Form Field Changes.
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