How to Protect Sections of a Word Document

Written by chris miksen
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How to Protect Sections of a Word Document
You can password protect sections of your document. (lock image by Dwight Davis from

Microsoft Word is a word processing program from Microsoft that allows you to create and edit documents. Microsoft Word comes with a plethora of features, including security features that allow you to password protect sections of your documents. You may want to password protect your document if the document is intended for only certain people or if there is personal and private information in the document. Protecting sections of your Word document is as simple as clicking a few buttons.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word. Click the "Tools" button. Click "Options" and click the "Security" tab, if you are using Word 2000, 2002 or 2003. Open the Microsoft Word document you wish to protect and click the "Microsoft Office Button" if you are using Word 2007 or 2010. Click "Save as." Click "Tools" and click "General Options."

  2. 2

    Enter a desired password next to "Password to open," if you wish to make the entire document password protected. Enter a password next to "Password to modify," if you wish to make the document protected from all modifications. Click "OK."

  3. 3

    Click the "Tools" button and select "Protect Document" if you wish to protect certain sections of your document from being modified and are using word 2000, 2002 or 2003. Click "Review" and click "Protect Document" in the "Protect" group if you are using Word 2007 or 2010. Click the check-box next to "Formatting restrictions" to limit formatting to a certain set of styles. Click the "Settings" under "Formatting Restrictions" and choose which styles are acceptable in the document. Click "OK."

  4. 4

    Click the check-box next to "Allow only this type of editing in this document" to restrict changes to certain sections of the document. Click the down-arrow underneath "Editing restrictions" to bring up a list of options, such as "Tracked changes," "Read only," "Comments" and "Filling in forms." Select an option to restrict changes to that section. For example, select "Filling in forms" if you wish for readers of your document to fill in forms, but have no other modification access to your document.

  5. 5

    Click "OK." Click the "File" menu button. Click "Save." Enter the name of the document and click "Save" to save the document with the selected security features.

Tips and warnings

  • A check next to the available styles in the settings of "Formatting restrictions" indicates that the style can be used in the document. An empty check-box indicates the style cannot be used in the document.
  • You cannot select more than option under "Editing Restrictions."

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