Restrict Editing – Avoid unnecessary editing and formatting of documents

Imagine you are working in a large organisation and you have to send the document to your team members for review. You may definitely want them to suggest changes but may not want them to edit or make changes to the document. In such a case Microsoft Word provides you with an ultimate solution called as “Restrict Editing”. Microsoft Word allows you to restrict the user from editing & formatting documents created by Word.

 To restrict editing follow the steps given below:

 Step 1

Open the Word document that you want to set the editing restrictions for.Click the File Tab and then click the Info option and then the Protect Document button that shows a list of options to be selected. Click Restrict Editing and Restrict Editing dialogue box will be displayed.

Step 2:

The Restrict Editing dialogue box will give you options to set the formatting as well as editing restrictions on the document.


When you place a checkmark on Limit Formatting to a selection of styles and click on settings ‘Formatting Restrictions’ dialogue box will open.

On the “Formatting Restrictions” dialog box, all styles in the “Checked styles are currently allowed” box are selected by default. To select only certain styles to be used in the document, you can use the “None” button to de-select all the styles and then select the ones you want to allow. You can also use Word’s recommended minimum styles to allow by clicking “Recommended Minimum.” Choose additional restrictions in the “Formatting” section at the bottom of the dialog box, if desired, and click “OK” when done.


On the “Restrict Editing” pane, select the “Allow only this type of editing in the document” check box and select an option from the drop-down list to indicate the type of editing that you want to allow in your document. You can allow other reviewers to only track changes, enter comments, or fill in forms. You can even restrict the document such that other people can only read it and make no changes.







In the case of comments, you can specify who is allowed to edit the document. Click the “More users…” link in the “Exceptions (optional)” section of the “Restrict Editing” pane. The people you added on the “Add Users” dialog box display in the “Individuals” box in the “Exceptions (optional)” section of the “Restrict Editing” pane.

Select the all or part of the document that you want a person to be able to edit and then select the check box for that person in the “Individuals” box.








Once the restrict formatting and editing options have been selected the next thing to be done is enforcing the protection for Microsoft Word to take effect. In the “Start enforcement” section of the “Restrict Editing” pane, click “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.” When you press OK a new dialogue box ill open for adding a password. Using a password will prevent people from turning off the formatting and editing restrictions.

Restricting and protecting a document ensures you’re the ultimate authority over the progress of the document. By using this feature you can force all change tracking or limit reviewers to only commenting. By using Restrict editing feature you are able to control he document from being altered and edited.

About the author

FAME is a leading Accountancy training provider. FAME brings together under one roof a wide range of accounting courses blended with real world experience and practical application. FAME aims to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical challenges that accountants face in their day to day working. We provide practical workplace skills for finance staff meeting the needs of employers, bankers, government and learners, both now and in the future. Our students are integral to the success of an organisation and at the heart of ensuring the smooth running of an accounting department.