Microsoft Word is probably the most popular word processing software out there, favored by many users for the multitude of features it includes, and the ease of sharing documents with other Word users. There are many features in Word that don’t get a lot of use however, one being the ability to protect documents and control who can access and edit your documents.
Here are a few ways you can protect your Word documents.
To access the document protection window:
- Click on the Review tab at the top of the document.
- Select Protect Document which can be found by clicking on the Protect group.
You will see a new window pane open with three options:
Formatting restrictions – Allows you to set restrictions based on the styles used in your document. Hitting the radial button beside this option will enable it. You can click on Settings to select which styles can be edited. Pressing OK will input the changes.
Editing restrictions – Allows you to select how users will be able to edit the document. If you select this setting, you will be able to select from four options:
Tracked Changes – Users can make changes which are automatically tracked.
Comments – Users can only comment, not make changes.
Filling in forms – Only forms may be filled in.
No changes – No alteration can be made to the document.
Start Enforcing – Clicking Yes, Start Enforcing Protection will implement the protection you have picked in one of the options above.
You should see a new option in the window pane: Exceptions. This is where you can make exceptions to the level of document protection you have established. If you have set up User Groups in your network, you will see them in this option. Clicking the button beside a specific group will give them full permission to edit documents. You can also click More users… and add users by their name or email address who will become an exception to these rules.
When you have the settings established, click the Yes, Start Enforcing Protection button. If you need to make changes, or remove protection, open up the Protect Document window pane again and de-select the box beside the protection option you choose. This will remove document protection.
Protecting your documents is a good idea, especially if you are going to be sending them out to clients or to a third party whom you don’t want to be able to make changes. Some practical examples of this in action include a contract you send out to potential clients or employees, or sending out marketing materials with price lists.
If you would like to learn more about how you can leverage Word’s vast features to improve documents, please contact us today to see how we can help.