As a way of preventing unwanted changes to your Word document, you may want to look into the possibility of restricting editing in Word.
The best part about Word’s restrictions feature is that it provides a range of customizability so that you can restrict exactly the part or feature of the document you want to prevent changes on.
Users can either make formatting restrictions, editing restrictions or choose specific parts of a document to restrict changes on.
Restrict Editing in Word
We will be going over the 3 different types of restrictions you can make in a Word document.
1. Open the Word document that you want to restrict changes on
2. Click on the Review tab and then click on Restrict Editing
A new pane will appear on the right side of your screen.
3. To prevent others from changing your font style, check the Limit formatting to a selection of styles option.
4. To choose exactly which type of formatting you want to allow, click on the Settings… option and then select the styles you want to allow in the document.
5. Next to make editing restrictions, check the Allow only this type of editing in the document option and then choose one of the following 4 options:
- Tracked Changes: Whatever edit is made to the document will be tracked. (The change will be highlighted in the tracked changes feature)
- Comments: Readers can only leave comments, but cannot make any edits
- Filling in forms: Only lets readers fill in forms, but cannot make any edits
- No changes (Read only): The read only option does not allow the reader to make any changes to the document.
6. Optionally you can also make exceptions to your editing restrictions by allowing certain users to edit certain parts of your documents. To allow all users to edit certain parts of your document, choose the parts of the document you want to allow editing on and then simply check the Everyone option.
Tip: To choose different parts of the document to make editable, simply select the first part and then hold down the Ctrl key and select other parts of the document.
7. To allow only certain users, click on More Users
8. Enter in the usernames of the users and then click on OK. As you can see in the image in step 6, you can then select these users instead of allowing everyone to edit the document.
9. To start enforcing your editing restrictions, click on the Yes start enforcing protection option.
10. Enter in a password to protect the document and click on OK
Note: Make sure to note down the password in a secure place, as it will be required to disable editing restrictions.
Find Editable Regions in Word
As we mentioned earlier, Word allows users to make some regions of the document editable.
Here is how to find these editable regions.
1. Open the Word document, click on Review > Restrict Editing
2. Now click the Show All Regions I can Edit option and make sure that the highlight the regions that I can edit option is checked.
You will now notice that parts of the document that you can edit (if there are any) will be highlighted.