Restrict users from editing Word document or Excel sheet

Sharing documents and inviting others to work on a single project together is the need of the hour. But, sometimes, you do not want others to edit your work. You might just want them to have a look at your work for the required purpose. Because the other person could edit the information and add some misleading data in it. This also results in delays that you do not wish to happen.

Therefore Office 365, Office 2019, or an older version of Office users are provided with an opportunity to restrict the desired users from editing their stuff. This prevents accidental or non-accidental editing of presentations, spreadsheets, and documents. So, in this tutorial, we will learn how to do in Word as well as in Excel. You can download latest version of word/excel via

Prevent a user from editing in Word

  1. First of all, you need to open a Word document that you wish to restrict.
  2. After this, click on the ‘File’ option.
  3. In the next step, click on the ‘Info’ option.
  4. Now, navigate to the right side of the page.
  5. Further, tap on the menu that says “Protect” document.
  6. Next, select the option reading as ‘Restrict Editing’.
  7. Now, tick-mark the box that allows you to limit formatting and then select ‘Settings’.
  8. After clearing the styles you wish to restrict and click ‘OK’.
  9. After making the desired changes, check the box next to “Allow only this type of editing”.
  10. Using the drop-down menu, make the desired changes for the following:
    1. No changes (Read-only).
    2. Tracked changes.
    4. Filling in forms.
  11. Now, select that part of the word document, that you do not wish to restrict so that others can edit it.
  12. In this step, you have to move to the ‘Exceptions’ section. In this section, you can select a person or a group of people who will be allowed to edit that part you selected with your mouse.
  13. Next, you will see the “Start enforcement” section, where you need to select ‘Yes’.
  14. Further, choose the ‘Password’ option and click ‘OK’.
  15. Now, the process to block users from making unwanted changes is complete and will apply based on the configuration you have done.

Prevent a user from editing in Excel

  1. In the first step, you need to open an Excel document or sheet.
  2. Followed by this, tap on the ‘File’ menu, and then click ‘Info’.
  3. Move to the right side on the page that opens.
  4. Here, click on the ‘Protect Workbook’ menu and then go to the next step.
  5. Further, you need to select the ‘Protect current sheet’ option.
  6. Now, you may set a password to unlock the sheet but this is completely optional.
  7. Next, tick-mark the box present next to ‘Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells’.
  8. Now, from the edits list, you need to select those edits that users are allowed to make and then click ‘OK’.
  9. After this, you need to re-enter the password for confirmation and click ‘OK’.
  10. Now, the settings are saved and users will be allowed to make changes based on the applied settings.

You can also do it for PowerPoint presentations but the steps might slightly vary for it. Other than this, there are options for making a document completely ‘Read-only’. This helps a user in restricting the misuse of important data in the hands of others.

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