Allow editing in a protected document

When you protect a document as read-only or for comments only, you can designate parts of the document to be unrestricted. You can also grant permission for specific individuals to modify the unrestricted parts of the document.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Protect Document.

  2. In the Protect Document task pane, under Editing restrictions, select the Allow only this type of editing in the document check box, and then click one of the following options:

    • No changes (read only)    Prevents users from changing the document.

    • Comments    Allows users to insert comments (Insert menu, Comments command) into the document. Users cannot change the content of the document.

  3. Select the parts of the document that you want to be unrestricted.

    For example, select a block of paragraphs, a heading, a sentence, or a word.

  4. Do one of the following:

    Allow anyone who opens the document to edit the part you selected

    • Select the Everyone check box in the Groups box.

    Allow particular individuals to edit the part you selected

    1. Click More users, and then enter the user names either by Microsoft Windows user account or by e-mail address. Separate the names with a semicolon.

    2. Click OK.

    3. Select the check boxes next to the names of the individuals you are allowing to edit the part you selected.

      Note: If you select more than one individual, the individuals are added as an item to the Group box, so you can easily select them again without having to select them individually.

  5. Continue to select parts of the document and assign users permission to edit them, as you want.

  6. Under Start enforcement, click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.

  7. Do one of the following:

    1. To assign a password to the document so that users who know the password can remove the protection, type a password in the Enter new password (optional) box, and then confirm the password.

    2. To encrypt the document so that only authenticated owners of the document can remove the protection, click User authentication.


      If you use e-mail addresses to add user names to the list of individuals, use the encryption method of protecting the document. If you use Windows user accounts to add user names to the list of individuals, use the password method of protection.

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