Password Protecting Parts of a Word Document

There are plenty of documents you might want other people to fill out for you. These documents could be form letters, or like the example in the video, a time card. Regardless of what type of document is involved, you only want people to be able to edit parts of the document.

Since you want everybody to be able to edit some parts of the document, the previous tip about how to password encrypt a document won’t help. Instead, we’ll use a little known selection technique combined with a feature on the Review tab.

Selecting things that don’t touch…

The Control key has a lot of power behind it. If you want to select parts of a document, but not everything, follow these steps:

  1. Make your first selection. On the video I’ll select the table cell beside Employee Name.
  2. Press and hold your Control key throughout the next couple of steps.
  3. Click to select the next object.
  4. Continue to click to select objects you want to be editable. As you can see on the video, this allows me to select all of the cells I want employees to fill out on their time card.
  5. When you’re finished selecting, you can let go of the Control key.

Let’s password protect everything else…

  1. Click the Review tab.
  2. Click the Restrict Editing button in the Protect group.
  3. Place a checkmark beside “Allow only this type of editing in the document” in section 2.
  4. Place a checkmark beside Everyone under Exceptions.
  5. Click on Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.
  6. Enter your password twice in the Start Enforcing Protection dialog box, and click OK.

Your document is now password protected, and you can only type in certain parts of it. Don’t be confused, Word will allow you to select other text, but you cannot edit it or replace it.

If you would like to spruce up the way your document looks, you can always uncheck the Highlight the regions I can edit checkbox in the Restrict Editing panel.