How to Lock Parts of a Word Document: A Step-by-Step Guide

Locking parts of a Word document can be incredibly useful when you want to prevent others from editing specific sections, while still allowing them to make changes elsewhere. It’s a simple process that involves using the "Restrict Editing" feature in Word. After completing this, some content will be locked and uneditable, while other parts remain open for collaboration.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Lock Parts of a Word Document

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we will accomplish. By following these steps, you will be able to select specific parts of your Word document that you would like to lock from editing. It’s an excellent feature for collaborative projects or documents that are being shared widely.

Step 1: Open the "Review" Tab

Open the Word document and click on the "Review" tab on the ribbon at the top of the page.

The "Review" tab is where most of the proofing and protection tools reside, including "Restrict Editing."

Step 2: Click "Restrict Editing"

In the "Protect" group, click on "Restrict Editing."

This action will open a new pane on the right side of the document, which is where you can manage your editing restrictions.

Step 3: Select Parts to Restrict

Highlight the parts of the document you want to lock, then check the box under "Editing Restrictions" in the "Restrict Editing" pane.

You can choose to restrict formatting and editing on the selected parts, making them unchangeable unless someone has the password you set up.

Step 4: Set Editing Restrictions

Click on "Settings" to choose what types of editing you want to allow, then check the box for "Allow only this type of editing in the document" and select "No changes (Read only)" from the drop-down menu.

Deciding the level of restriction is crucial, as it determines how others can interact with the locked content.

Step 5: Start Enforcement

Once you’ve set your editing restrictions, click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection" to lock the selected parts of the document.

You’ll be prompted to enter a password. Choose a strong password, and remember it – you’ll need this to unlock these sections later.

After completing these actions, the selected text in your Word document will be locked, preventing anyone without the password from making changes. This means only you (or anyone you share the password with) can edit these parts.

Tips: How to Lock Parts of a Word Document

  • Always remember the password you set to lock the parts of the document, as losing it can result in permanently locked content.
  • If you want to lock the entire document instead of parts, you can use the "Protect Document" feature found under the same "Review" tab.
  • When collaborating, communicate with your team about which parts are locked to avoid confusion and unnecessary access requests.
  • You can also set exceptions for specific people, allowing them to edit the locked parts without needing the password.
  • Regularly save a copy of the document without restrictions as a backup, in case you forget the password or run into other issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I lock parts of a Word document without a password?

No, a password is required to enforce the restrictions, ensuring security and control over who can edit the locked parts.

Can I unlock the parts I’ve locked if I forget the password?

Unfortunately, if you forget the password, you cannot unlock the parts. It’s crucial to keep the password safe and memorable.

Can I still edit other parts of the document after locking some sections?

Yes, other parts of the document that were not selected when setting up the restrictions will remain editable.

Can I lock images or tables in a Word document?

Yes, you can lock any part of the Word document, including text, images, and tables, by following the same steps.

Is it possible to lock parts of a Word document on all versions of Word?

The steps may vary slightly depending on the version, but the general Restrict Editing feature is available across most recent versions of Microsoft Word.


  1. Open the "Review" Tab
  2. Click "Restrict Editing"
  3. Select Parts to Restrict
  4. Set Editing Restrictions
  5. Start Enforcement


Whether you’re a teacher wanting to lock parts of a test, a lawyer restricting sections of a legal document, or just someone sharing a report that needs certain parts to remain unchanged, knowing how to lock parts of a Word document is an invaluable skill. Not only does it safeguard your content, but it provides a layer of professionalism and control over your work. Remember that communication is key when collaborating on restricted documents. Make sure your team is aware of the locked sections and has the password if necessary. With the tips and steps provided, you should now have a clear understanding of how to lock parts of a Word document, ensuring your content remains just as you intended it, even in a sea of eager editors.

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