Make A Read Only Word Document In Microsoft Office 2007

The one thing which separates PDF documents from general documents created in Microsoft Word is their nature of editing. PDF documents are read only by default and can’t be edited by anyone,. But the problem with documents created in Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2010 is that they are not “read only” by default.

There are a number of situations when you may want to create a read only word document which can not be edited by anyone else (including you).  Let’s say you are the professor of an academic institution and have compiled a list of questions as an assignment for students. Instead of printing out the whole list of questions, you sent the document to each student via email. So far so good, but the students were clever and they deleted some questions from your list and returned you a new document.

Now, there is no way you can find out which questions were deleted, unless you have stored a copy of the original document on your computer’s hard drive. It would have been better, if you had created a read only word document for students so that they can read the content of the document but editing or deleting content from the document was just not possible.

How To Create A Read Only Word Document In Microsoft Office 2007

1. First back up your main document to a safe location, in case you want to edit it in future.

2 .Open the document in Microsoft Word 2007 and click the office ribbon menu. If you are running an older version of Microsoft Office (Microsoft Office 2003 or Office XP), please upgrade your software to the latest version first. This is because the following features are only available in recent versions of Microsoft Office such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010.

3. On the office ribbon menu, choose the “Prepare” option and select “Mark as Final”.

4. After selecting “Mark as Final”, Microsoft Office will will open two subsequent windows notifying you that the document has been marked as final and cant be edited any further. A new icon will also appear in the status Bar, telling that this document has been “Marked Final”.

5. Save the document  and quit Microsoft word.

6. Open the document you will find that no changes can be made to the document now. Anyone, including you can read the document but no more content can be added and neither any content from the document can be deleted. This document is now as good as a PDF document which is read only in nature.

What you are doing here is nothing but encrypting the document so that it is made read only. If you want to completely secure the word document, we highly recommend enabling password protection on a Word document to protect it from being read by anyone else, except you.