How to Change a Word Document to Open in Read Only

By Leonardo R. Grabkowski

If you have an important document that you need to share, you may want to consider making it a "read-only" only document. This setting prevents others from changing the document's text or formatting. In Word 2003, this is performed by protecting the document with a password. In later versions, this is performed by restricting access so that only you, on your computer, will be able to make changes to the document.

Microsoft Word 2003

Step 1

Open the document. Click "File" and select "Save As." Choose the "Security" option inside the "Tools" section of the prompt box.

Step 2

Choose a password required to protect your Word 2003 document as read-only. Re-enter your password to verify.

Step 3

Click "OK," then click "Save." Users will be unable to modify the Word 2003 document without your password.

Microsoft Word 2007

Step 1

Open your document and click on the "Review" tab located on the top panel.

Step 2

Click "Protect Document" and choose "Restrict Formatting and Editing." Check the box next to "Editing Restrictions."

Step 3

Choose "No Changes--Read Only" from the pull-down menu. Click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection."

Microsoft Word 2010

Step 1

Open your document. Click "Review" then choose "Protect." Click "Restrict Editing."

Step 2

Select "Editing Restrictions." Choose "Read Only."

Step 3

Click "Yes" to protect the document and make it read-only.