Affinity Consulting Blog


Lawyers often share Word documents with others for drafting and editing assistance. You want to be sure all changes made by others are clearly designated. You may also want to restrict editing to certain portions of the document. This months tip will show you how to restrict edition of a Word 2016 document.

The Restrict Editing feature in Word 2016 lets you designate which sections of a document others can edit. You can also enforce the Track Changes feature to easily see any edits made by others.

Enable Protection

The Restrict Editing feature locks an entire document from editing, but allows you to open designated sections for editing by others. Instead of initially selecting which sections to lock down, you instead lock down the entire document, then select which areas you want to open for editing.

Here are the steps:

•Open a document in Word 2016.

•Switch to the Review tab on the ribbon.

•Click Restrict Editing in the Protect section of the ribbon.

•In the Restrict Editing panel on the right, check Allow only this type of editing in the document under 2. Editing restrictions.

No changes (Read only) is the default restriction type. If you prefer to set a different restriction level for the document, click the menu and select from Tracked changes, Comments, or Filling in forms.

•Now select the parts of the document you’d like to open up for editing without restrictions. If you want to select more than one area, click CTRL while selecting the area using the mouse.

•Once you’ve selected all the areas you’d like to mark as open for editing, check Everyone under Exceptions (optional) in the Restrict Editing panel. The areas marked for as open for editing will now appear enclosed in square brackets.

•Alternatively, you can click More users… and allow only specific users to modify the sections marked as open for editing.

•Now click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection in the Restrict Editing panel.

•In the Start Enforcing Protection dialog, it’s optional to enter and confirm a password. Click OK to start protection.

End Protection

Once the document is returned to you, you will want to turn off protection so you can make your final edits without restriction.

•Make sure the Restrict Editing panel is open. If you can’t see it, switch to the Review tab on the ribbon and click Restrict Editing in the Protect section of the ribbon.

•Click Stop Protection at the bottom of the Restrict Editing pane.

•If you set a password, you’ll need to enter it now to stop protection.

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