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: Allowing Only Form Field Changes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 13, 2019)
Word includes the ability to protect your document so users can only make changes to the document within form fields. Typically this is done just before saving your newly created form document as a template. Without such protection, people can still use the form fields, but they can also make changes anywhere else desired in the document. If you require this type of document protection, follow these steps if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:
Figure 1. The Start Enforcing Protection dialog box.
If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, follow these steps:
With this type of protection turned on, people can still load and read the document. The only difference is that they cannot change anything in the document, except what you set up for them to change in form fields. (Don't confuse the protection discussed in this tip with the protection afforded by the file password options. That type of protection was discussed in other issues of WordTips.)
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (918) 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: Allowing Only Form Field Changes.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
If you protect your document using the tools that Word provides, at some time you may need to turn off that protection. ...Discover More
Develop a document that is to be reviewed by a group of people, and you may want to protect it in some way. One way you ...Discover More
Tablet PCs are great for some uses, such as signing forms developed in Word. You may run into a problem with getting the ...Discover More
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.