Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Signing a Protected Form.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 19, 2016)
Robert has developed a Word form and protected it for distribution. His users have tablet computers and they want to be able to sign the document with their tablet pens, but the pen does not work on a protected form. Robert is wondering how he can get this to work. He has tried inserting a frame, data field, and even an Excel unprotected cell to hold the signature, but all of these approaches have failed to make the pen work.
The problem is in the protection—if you protect a document or a section of a document, then you can't make changes in the protected portion. So, the answer is to insert section breaks both before and after the signature location. These can be continuous section breaks, so that they don't disturb the layout of your document. Then, make sure that all the document sections except the one for the signature are protected.
If you need help on figuring out how to apply protection only to parts of a document, just do a search on the WordTips Web site for the phrase "Protecting Parts of a Document."
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (451) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Signing a Protected Form.
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Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.