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: Opening a Document as Read-Only.

Opening a Document as Read-Only

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 22, 2016)

There may be times when you want to open a file as read-only. This means you will not be able to save any changes to the file you are loading. You can use the Save As option from the File menu in order to save the document to a different filename, however. Opening a file as read-only is self-insurance so you don't inadvertently mess up your file. To open a document as read-only, follow these steps if you are using Word 2000 or a later version:

  1. Select Open from the File menu, or click on the Open tool on the toolbar. You will see the Open dialog box.
  2. Locate the file you want to open and then click once on the file name.
  3. Click on the down-arrow at the right side of the Open button. Word displays the different ways you can open the file.
  4. Choose Open Read-Only from the drop-down menu.

If you are using Word 97, follow these steps:

  1. Select Open from the File menu, or click on the Open tool on the toolbar. You will see the Open dialog box.
  2. Locate the file you want to open and then click once on the file name.
  3. Click on the Commands and Settings button. (It is the right-most button on the toolbar in the Open dialog box.) This displays a Context menu.
  4. Choose Open Read Only from the Context menu.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1156) 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: Opening a Document as Read-Only.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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