How to edit a protected Word document

Written by dirk huds Google
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How to edit a protected Word document
Protecting a document is usually done with a password. (Microsoft Corporation)

Protecting a Word document is a handy way to ensure that its content is not changed without the author being aware of it. However, Microsoft Office has incorporated tools that allow editing of some of or the entire document. If you receive a protected Word document, the creator will have specified which parts you are able to edit.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the Word document. Do this either via the program shortcut button on your desktop or tile on the Start screen, double-clicking the icon for the document or double-clicking on the attachment in an email.

  2. 2

    Click "Review" in the top taskbar. Select "Protection" from the available options.

  3. 3

    Click "Restrict Editing." This will open the Restrict Editing window. This will consist of the contents of the document overlaid by a side panel titled "Restrict Formatting and Editing" on the right.

  4. 4

    Notice a subheading on the side panel called "Your Permissions." Below it are two buttons that will allow you to navigate to the parts of the document you are permitted to edit.

  5. 5

    Click on the button labelled "Find Next Region I Can Edit." This will take you sequentially to the next unrestricted section of the document. Make your changes and save the document. Repeat to move to the next available section.

  6. 6

    Click the button labelled "Show All Regions I Can Edit." This will highlight all permissible sections of the document available for editing. You can move between them as you wish. Make your editing changes and save the document.

Tips and warnings

  • If you wish to edit a protected Word document purely for your own purpose, you can copy and paste all the text to a new document.
  • To unrestrict a complete document, the creator will need to supply the password they used to protect the document. Click on "Unprotect Document" from the "Tools" menu and enter the password in the relevant text box.
  • Before editing a Word document, use the 'Save As' option so that a copy of the original document remains for reference.

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