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Word 2010 Protect

File | Review

You have finalized your document and it is time to send it to someone. You will want to make sure your document is protected, so no further edits can be made by those you send it to.

Restrict Formatting and EditingTo get started, select Restrict Editing in the Protect section of the Review tab. A Restrict Formatting and Editing task pane will open to the right of your document giving you several options. First, you need to decide what type of protection you want to put on your document. Word allows you to place formatting and/or editing restrictions on your document.

Formatting restrictions

Let's take a closer look at formatting restrictions by selecting Settings under Formatting restrictions in the Restrict Formatting and Editing task pane

Formatting Restrictions

If you uncheck the top box (Limit formatting to a selection of styles), it eliminates the ability of any other readers to make formatting changes to your document. If you would like to give them some formatting ability, you can review the different styles in the next box. You can check the boxes manually to select the styles you want to allow to be used in this document. You also have the options below the styles to select all, recommended minimum or none.

Finally, at the bottom of the Formatting Restrictions dialog box, you have additional options:

  • Allow AutoFormat to override formatting restrictions
  • Block Theme or Scheme switching
  • Block Quick Style Set switching

Be sure to select Ok when you are finished to implement any of the changes you have made.

Editing restrictions

The next step in the task pane will allow you to restrict different types of editing in the document. Check the box under step two:Editing restrictions Allow only this type of editing in the document. The drop down box below will become active and you have the choice of restricting Tracked changes, Comments, Filling in forms or No changes (Read only).

Within editing restrictions, under exceptions, Word also gives you the ability to select specific parts of your document and choose users who are allowed to edit them. Simply highlight the area, check the box currently prefilled with everyone and select the drop down box. You can choose to:

  • Find next region this user can edit
  • Show all regions this user can edit
  • Remove all editing permissions for this user.

Editing Restrictions Exception

Add usersTo add more users, select More users (in blue). The Add Users dialog box will appear. Add your users and select Ok.

Start Enforcement

When you are ready to accept your formatting and editing restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. The Start Enforcing Protection dialog box will appear - you have the option to enter a password. If you apply a password to the restricted document, the password is required to remove the restrictions. Enter a password in the Enter new password box and again in the Reenter password to Start Enforcing Protectionconfirm box and select Ok. If you do not wish to have a password, leave the password boxes blank and select Ok. The restrictions will still be applied to the document; however, anyone can remove the restrictions from the document.


Restrict Formatiing and EditingThe Restrict Formatting and Editing task pane will now list your permissions in place.

Any changes to your document will now be tracked and display in red.

At the bottom of the task pane, you have the option to stop protection at any time. When you stop protection on a document, any changes that were tracked, remain tracked until you accept or reject them.

Restrict EditingYou can hide/show the Restrict Formatting and Editing task pane by selecting Restrict Editing in the Protect section of the Review tab.