How to Change a Word Document to Open in Read Only
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
Open the document. Click "File" and select "Save As." Choose the "Security" option inside the "Tools" section of the prompt box.
Choose a password required to protect your Word 2003 document as read-only. Re-enter your password to verify.
Click "OK," then click "Save." Users will be unable to modify the Word 2003 document without your password.
Microsoft Word 2007
Open your document and click on the "Review" tab located on the top panel.
Click "Protect Document" and choose "Restrict Formatting and Editing." Check the box next to "Editing Restrictions."
Choose "No Changes--Read Only" from the pull-down menu. Click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection."
Microsoft Word 2010
Open your document. Click "Review" then choose "Protect." Click "Restrict Editing."
Select "Editing Restrictions." Choose "Read Only."
Click "Yes" to protect the document and make it read-only.