Prevent users from altering your Word document formatting

Once you get the format of your Word document just right, you don't want users (or colleagues) messing things up in any way. Learn how you can lock all formatting options in your Word 2003 documents so reviewers can enter comments without altering the format.

Have you ever e-mailed a Microsoft Word document to a group for comments only to get it back reformatted with different styles and page formats? This can be a real nuisance.

With earlier releases of Word, you had no choice but to go back in and reformat the document. However, with Word 2003's Protect Document feature, you can lock all formatting options in your document so that your reviewers can enter comments without touching the format.

Follow these steps to utilize Word's Protect Document feature:

  1. Go to Tools | Protect Document.
  2. Under item number 1, Formatting restrictions, select the Limit Formatting To A Selection Of Styles check box. Now click the Settings link below this check box.
  3. Click the None button and then click OK.
  4. Under item number 2, Editing restrictions, select the Allow Only This Type Of Editing In The Document check box.
  5. In the drop down list box that appears, select Comments.
  6. Under item number 3, Start enforcement, click the button that says Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.
  7. Enter a password for non-encrypted documents.

To end document protection, click Stop Protection and enter the password to remove restrictions.

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