Join Curt Frye for an in-depth discussion in this video Restricting how a user can edit a Word file, part of Securing Microsoft Office Files.
Companies frequently have correspondence that they want to look the same all the time. The letter that I'm using here, for example, is a response to a request for a bid. And in this movie, I will show you how to restrict what types of edits that you and your colleagues can implement on a file. My sample file is Restricted Edits, and it's a Word document that you can find in the Chapter01 folder of your Exercise Files collection. To define those restrictions, I'll go to the Review tab and click the Restrict Editing button.
Doing so, displays the Restrict Editing task pane. There are two types of restrictions I can create. The first is formatting restrictions. And if I want to turn those on, I can check the limit formatting to a selection of styles box, and then click Settings. Doing so, displays the formatting restrictions dialogue box. The top check box confirms my choice, and I see a list of styles below. These are all the styles that are available in this document, and anything with a check mark beside it is allowed.
If I were to clear check box, then it would not be allowed. I can select styles one by one, or I could click all to allow all styles to be used. I could click recommended minimum, which limits the styles to a set that the Word programming team thought was appropriate or I can click none and select individual styles to allow. I also have three other options. I could allow other formats to override formatting restrictions, block Theme or Scheme switching, and block Quick Style Set switching. If I want to turn on any of those options, I can just check the box next to that option.
In this case, I don't want to implement any formatting restrictions so I will click Cancel. And I will clear the limit formatting check box in the restrict editing task pane. Next, I can put in some editing restrictions, and I could allow only certain types of editing in the document. So I can check that box and that activates a list control here. And I can click its down arrow to see the options that are available to me. The first one is to only allow track to changes, second is only comments, third is filling in forms, and the last one is no changes, making the file read only.
That's the option I'll select now. Selecting that option allows me to pick parts of the document that users can edit. And in this case, I have a letter and it is very likely that the date, the from address, and the to address, as well as the reference line and the salutation will change from letter to letter. So, I want my colleagues to be able to edit those lines. To indicate that those lines are editable, I will select them, I'll just click the top line and then shift click to select that region.
And then over under Exceptions, in the Restrict Editing task pane, I'll check the box next to Everyone. And you can see in the body of the document, that the areas that I selected are displayed in gray and have square brackets around them. That indicates that that field is editable. If you're working in a multi-user system, you can click more users and select who you want to be able to edit different parts of the document. In this case, I'll keep it simple. When you are ready to start enforcing the restrictions, click the Yes, Start Enforcing Protection button, and that displays the start enforcing protection dialogue box.
In this case because I don't have multi users on my system, we use a password. So I'll enter the new password and that'll just be the usual for this course. ABC123. I'll press tab and I will confirm it. ABC123. 123 and click okay. So the areas of the file that can be edited are currently displayed in a light yellow, and the areas that can't are displayed in white. So while I can click down in this area, I can't actually do anything. I'm pressing the backspace key and you see that nothing is happening.
And at the bottom left of the program window, the status bar and the message just disappeared. So I'll hit backspace to bring it back. Says, this modification is not allowed because the selection is locked. But if I want to edit any of this text, such as going from May 14 to May 30, I'm able to do so. You also see that the restrict editing task pane has changed. My permissions are listed. I can find the next region, I can edit, or I can show all regions that I can edit. And also highlighting is currently turned on by checking this box here.
If I want to turn off protection, I can click the Stop Protection button and enter the password. A, B, C, one, two, three and click OK. Doing so, removes the restriction and I can edit the document normally. Restricting edits to a word file helps you make sure that your communications are consistent. Always allow your colleagues to edit parts of the document that might change. But once you find language that you think works well for a particular task, there's no reason you shouldn't stay with it
- Protecting files with strong passwords
- Restricting edits in Word documents
- Locking Excel worksheet cells
- Setting macro security levels
- Defining trusted publishers, locations, and documents
- Removing sensitive information with the Document Inspector
- Securing files with digital certificates