Restrict or permit formatting changes

When you distribute a document for others to edit and you don't want them to change the look of the document, you can restrict all or some of the themes and styles that can otherwise be changed or applied. You can also permit reviewers to change some of the themes and styles.

 Notes 

What do you want to do?


Restrict formatting

By default, all styles are available and can be changed by other users. You can restrict people from changing the formatting or styles for portions of your document or for the entire document.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the Styles Dialog Box Launcher.

Styles Dialog Box Launcher

  1. In the Styles task pane, click Manage Styles Button image, and then click the Restrict tab.
  2. In the Sort order list, select the sort order that you want to use to view the styles.
  3. Click the individual styles that you want to restrict, or select groups of styles by clicking one of the following options.
    • Select Visible     Click this option to select the styles that appear by default in the recommended list. To see the list of recommended styles, click the Recommend tab.

 Tip   To add styles to this list, on the Recommend tab, select the styles that you want to add, and then click Show.

  • Select Built-in     Click this option to select all of the styles that are included in Microsoft Office Word but not any custom styles that you created.
  • Select All     Click this option to select all of the styles that are included in Word and all of the custom styles that you created.
  1. Select the check boxes next to one or more of the following:
    • Limit formatting to permitted styles     Select this option to allow reviewers to change formatting using only permitted styles. Reviewers won't be able to format text directly or use styles that are restricted.
    • Allow AutoFormat to override formatting     Select this option to allow reviewers to use restricted styles when automatically formatting text such as hyperlinks or automatic bullets. For example, if you select this check box, Word will automatically format hyperlinks, even if the Hyperlink style is locked.

 Note   This option is available only if Limit formatting to permitted styles is selected.

  • Block Theme or Scheme switching     Select this option to prevent reviewers from changing the themes that are used in the document.
  • Block Quick Style Set switching     Select this option to prevent reviewers from changing the current style set.
  1. Click Restrict.

A lock icon Lock Styles icon appears next to any styles that are restricted.

  1. Click OK.
  2. You may be prompted to create an optional password. To assign a password to the document so that only people who know the password can remove the restriction, type a password in the Enter new password (optional) box, and then confirm the password.

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Permit formatting

After you have restricted specific styles, you can remove the restriction so that other people are permitted to use them in your document.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the Styles Dialog Box Launcher.

Styles Dialog Box Launcher

  1. In the Styles task pane, click Manage Styles Button image, and then click the Restrict tab.
  2. In the Manage Styles dialog box, select the sort order that you want to use to view styles.
  3. Click the individual styles that you want to permit, or select groups of styles by clicking one of the following options.
    • Select Visible     Click this option to select styles that appear by default in the recommended list. To see the list of recommended styles, click the Recommend tab.

 Tip   To add styles to this list, on the Recommend tab, select the styles that you want to add, and then click Show.

  • Select Built-in     Click this option to select all of the styles that are included in Microsoft Office Word but not any custom styles that you created.
  • Select All     Click this option to select all of the styles that are included in Word and all of the custom styles that you created.
  1. Click Permit.
  2. If the style restrictions are password–protected, type the password to unlock the styles.

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Applies to:
Word 2007