Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Saving Documents as Read-Only by Default.

Saving Documents as Read-Only by Default

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 19, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


When Siegfried saves documents in Word, he normally needs them saved so that they are read-only. He finds setting the read-only option each time he saves (in the Save As dialog box) to be tedious and prone to error. Thus, Siegfried wonders if it is possible to force Word to save files as read-only by default.

The short answer is that it is possible, but it will take creating a macro that changes the Save As command. The following is a very simplistic version of such a macro.

Public Sub FileSaveAs()
    With ActiveDocument
        .ReadOnlyRecommended = True
        .Password = ""
        .WritePassword = ""
    End With
    Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs).Show
End Sub

The macro first sets the document to be read-only, and then displays the normal Save As dialog box. Save the macro in your Normal template and it effectively replaces the default Save As command.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12232) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Saving Documents as Read-Only by Default.

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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