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Read-Only Word Documents

From Wordtips:
Sometimes you'll want to circulate a file to other people, but you don't want them to change your words. There are several ways you can make your document read-only. The first, and simplest way, is to use the capabilities of your operating system to make the change. Simply create your document, and then (from outside of Word) change the properties of the document to indicate it is read-only.
The other way to accomplish this is from within Word itself, by following these steps:
Create your document as you normally would.
Choose Save As from the File menu. This displays the Save As dialog box.
Specify the location and name of the file as you want it saved.
Click on the Options button. Beginning with Word 97, the Save tab is displayed in its own Save dialog box. This is the same Save tab that is displayed if you choose Options from the Tools menu and then click on Save. (See Figure 1.) Word 95 displays the Save tab of the Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
At the bottom of the dialog box you can specify a password and read-only recommendation for the file.
Click on OK to close the Options dialog box. This again displays the Save As dialog box.
Click on Save to save your file.
The only problem with these approaches to protecting your document is that anyone can still load the file and then use the Save As option from the File menu to save their own copy of the document. The only sure way around this is to save the document in some other application format (such as a graphic image or in Adobe Acrobat) which precludes any use of the information except for reading.
The foregoing will work fine with all versions of Word. If you are using Word 97 or later, there is another option that may fit the bill. This involves saving your document as a Word form, which can be easily protected. To accomplish this, follow these steps:
Choose Protect Document from the Tools menu. This displays the Protect Document dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
Choose the Forms option.
Enter a password at the bottom of the dialog box.
Click on OK.
When prompted, enter your password again.
Save the file as normal.
Now nobody can change your document without knowing the password.

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