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Protect Word documents

Check for hidden information in documents
Learn how you can help protect your documents, including limiting who can access them and restricting changes others can make. Also, find out how to remove personal information, such as reviewers' names, tracked changes, and hidden text, before you share a document.

About this course

This course includes:

  • Three self-paced lessons and three practice sessions for hands-on experience.
  • A short test at the end of each lesson; tests are not scored.
  • A Quick Reference Card you can take away from the course.


After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Use Information Rights Management (IRM) to limit who can access and change your documents.
  • Control the degree to which others can access and change specific areas of your documents and specify the types of changes, such as tracked changes, comments, and formatting. For example, you can prevent a reviewer from changing heading styles in your document.
  • Find and remove hidden data, such as tracked changes, comments, and hidden text, from the documents you send to others. That way, you'll never be embarrassed by people seeing information that you didn't realize was visible.

Before you begin

Note     This course is about how you can control the ways that you and others access and work with your documents. To learn how you can secure your documents against malicious interference, see the course Office security basics.

Ever thought of yourself as controlling? No? After this course, that might change. And it won't be a bad thing, either, because controlling how others view and work with your Word documents is a great way to ensure that when you distribute a document, it's communicating everything you do want and nothing you don't. For example, maybe you don't want people to print and distribute a document, or perhaps you want to prevent a reviewer from changing heading styles or other formatting.

Using the Protect Document task pane, Information Rights Management, and security settings will help give you that control.

To learn more about this course, read the overview information or the table of contents in the left column. When you're done reading this page, click Next to start the first lesson.

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