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: Protecting Your Revisions.

Protecting Your Revisions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 29, 2012)

Word includes the ability to protect your document so that only you can make changes to it without Track Changes being turned on. This can be a great help if you want to make sure you are the only one that can make the "final changes" to a document. To enable this level of protection, follow these steps if you are using Word 97 or Word 2000:

  1. Choose Protect Document from the Tools menu. The Protect Document dialog box appears.
  2. Make sure you select the Tracked Changes radio button.
  3. Enter an optional password. (This is a good idea, since anyone can turn protection off if you don't specify a password.)
  4. Click on OK. Assuming you entered a password, Word displays the Confirm Password dialog box.
  5. Enter your password again.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Save your document.

If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Protect Document from the Tools menu. Word displays the Protect Document pane at the right of the document window.
  2. In the Editing Restrictions section of the pane, choose the Allow Only This Type of Editing in the Document checkbox. Word enables the drop-down list under the checkbox.
  3. Using the drop-down list, choose Tracked Changes.
  4. Click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. Word displays the Start Enforcing Protection dialog box.
  5. Enter a password (twice) in the dialog box.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Save the file as normal.

When you protect a document in this way, the Track Changes feature is turned on automatically. With this type of protection turned on, people can still load and edit the document. They cannot, however, turn off Track Changes, nor can they make decisions on which changes will be accepted or rejected.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3918) 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: Protecting Your Revisions.

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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