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How can I prevent a document to be edited?

  Asked By: Michael    Date: Jun 18    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 10884

I have a document library set with read-only permission for a user group. This prevents the users from editing the item properties, but not to edit the document in Word after openning it there.

How can I disable the button displayed in Word allowing users to Edit the document that has been opened as read-only?



2 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Kyle Hernandez     Answered On: Jun 18

First, even if a user  presses that button  they won't be able to save the edited  version back to the library  if it is set  for read-only  permission. The problem is that once the document  is downloaded its up to the client whether it can be edited or not. SharePoint can only control whether the document can be opened  (downloaded) and saved. The only way to prevent  users from editing  a document once its open on thier workstation would be to implement Windows Rights Management. SharePoint can use this to encrypt the document and limit what can be done with the document in Office applications. You can read more about SharePoint and Rights Management here:


Answer #2    Answered By: Antonio Maio     Answered On: Oct 30

It depends how far you want to go with this restriction. As mentioned by the other post, setting 'read' permissions in SharePoint on a document will prevent the user from being able to save an edited copy of the document back to SharePoint. But, if you are allowing them to open a word document in SharePoint in order to read it (through the read permissions) they will be able to edit it but only save it locally. For many organizations these restrictions based on permissions work well, but you may have some additional security requirements for which this isn't sufficient. One approach to restrict this is using Rights Management Server, but this can be challening to setup and use, and it doesn't work when you get into any cross organizational collaboration.

Another simple solution might be to automatically convert Word documents to PDF when they are added to SharePoint or edited by authorized users, and through permissions make the only PDF versions available to users that are only permitted to read documents. Some of this can be done natively in SharePoint, but its pretty manual and you need to work with one document at a time or write code that automates the process. TITUS has a SharePoint product suite that automatically converts documents to PDF (on add or edit, and even existing Office documents), and manages permissions in SharePoint automatically as well. You can find out more information about these products here: www.titus.com/software/sharepoint/index.php. Hope this helps.

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