Distribute and protect

Restrict changes to files

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Use read-only protection and passwords to prevent other people from opening or modifying documents.

Make documents read-only

  1. Open the document that you want to make read-only

  2. Select File > Info.

  3. Select Protect Document > Mark as Final.

    Note: In Excel, select Protect Workbook. In PowerPoint, select Protect Presentation.

  4. Select OK.

  5. Browse to the folder where you want to save the file, enter a file name, and then select Save.

    When you open the file, a Marked as Final message appears at the top of the document. If you select Edit Anyway, the document is no longer read-only.

Encrypt documents with a password

  1. Open the document that you want to password protect.

  2. Select File > Info.

  3. Select Protect Document > Encrypt with Password.

    Note: In Excel, select Protect Workbook. In PowerPoint, select Protect Presentation.

  4. Enter a password, and select OK.

  5. Re-enter the password, and select OK.

Remove password protection

  1. Open the password-protected document.

  2. Select File > Info.

  3. Select Protect Document > Encrypt with Password.

    Note: In Excel, select Protect Workbook. In PowerPoint, select Protect Presentation.

  4. Delete the password, and then select OK.

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Protect a finished Word, Excel, or other Office file from accidental changes by making it read-only.

Select File.

On the Info page, select Protect Document, and then select Mark as Final.

Select OK. Office saves the read-only setting with your file.

Select OK again.

When anyone opens this file, they see a message which says it’s the final version and should not be edited.

To remove this setting, select Edit Anyway, and then save.

Select File and then Close.

When you select Save, Office saves the file without the read-only protection.

Another way to restrict changes to a sensitive Office file is to set a password. With a password, you limit which coworkers can open the file.

In any Office app, select File.

On the Info page, select Protect Workbook, and then select Encrypt with Password.

Type a password.

Select OK, and reenter the password.

When you save the file, the new password is saved with it.

Send the file location and password to coworkers who need access.

When they open the file, Office prompts them for a password.

When they enter the password, the file opens.

To remove or change the password, open the file and type the password.

Select File, Protect Workbook, and Encrypt with Password.

Delete the existing password or type a new one.

Save the file.

If you removed the password, the next time you open the file, the password prompt doesn’t appear.

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