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How do I protect some parts of a Word document from editing?

By Tobenna Nnabeze | March 19, 2019 |

greater than 3 minutes

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In Microsoft Word, there is a feature you can use to protect parts of a document you wouldn’t want other users to make changes to. This is particularly useful when working on a piece with your colleagues.

This feature has been present in Office Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Keep reading to discover how to lock certain parts of a Word document.

How to Protect Specific Content in a Word Document?

When you protect text in a Word document, users view it as read-only. The other parts of the document, however, can be edited freely. You also have the option to allow all or specific users to edit selected parts of the document.

Follow these easy steps to restrict editing:

  1. Open the Word document you want to protect.
  2. Click on the REVIEW tab and then click on Restrict Editing. This option is in the Protect menu.
  3. A Restrict Editing pane opens on the right side of the document. Under Editing restrictions, tick the checkbox beside “Allow only this type of editing in the document”.
  4. Once you’ve ticked the checkbox, the drop-down menu underneath becomes active. See that No changes (Read only) is selected. If you want to allow comments or filling in forms, you can select the appropriate option from the menu. You’ll also notice the “Exceptions (optional)” option displayed below, but we’ll get back to that later.
  5. Select the parts of the document for which you’d want to allow editing by clicking and dragging the mouse/touchpad cursor across the text. Every other part of the document left unselected will become read-only. You can hold the Ctrl key and scroll up or down to other parts of the document and continue selecting.
  6. After selecting the text, go back to the Restrict Editing pane. Under Exceptions (optional), there are options you can choose from in the Groups list:
  • Tick the “Everyone” check box to allow anyone who opens the document to edit the parts you selected.
  • Click “More users” to enter the usernames of the particular individuals allowed to edit the selected parts of the document (note that this requires access to a central, network user directory). Each username should be separated with a semicolon.  After entering the usernames, click
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    and then tick the checkbox for those allowed editing.
  1. Under the Start enforcement section, click the Yes, Start Enforcing Protection button.
  2. A window will be displayed, prompting you to enter a password for document encryption. Without the password, the document is susceptible to malicious users. Enter your password and click OK. If you have allowed editing for specific users, select the User authentication option instead.
  3. The selected text is now in brackets and highlighted. This indicates the editable sections of the document.

In the right-hand pane, there is an option you can use to move from one editable section to another. Simply click on Find Next Region I Can Edit.


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To deactivate the restriction, click on Stop Protection at the bottom of the Restrict Editing pane.

How Do I Lock Text Boxes in Word?

To lock your text boxes, follow the procedure stipulated below:

  1. Open the Word document and click on the File tab > Options. In the left pane, click on Customise Ribbon and tick the Developer checkbox to activate the Developer tab. Click Ok.
  2. Click on the Review tab and follow steps 2, 3, and 4 as explained in the previous section of this article.
  3. As indicated in step 5 above, select all the text in the document to allow editing for other users. Do not select the text boxes you want to protect. However, if there are text boxes you want to allow editing for, hold the Ctrl key and select them as well.
  4. Follow steps 6, 7, and 8 from the previous section of this article.
  5. Click the Developer tab. The Design Mode button is disabled indicating that the text boxes cannot be edited.  This shows that you have successfully locked them.

When you send and receive Word documents, it is important to have a strong antivirus tool active on your PC. Auslogics Anti-Malware protects your system against malware and data safety threats.

We hope you have found this content useful…

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