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  1. #1
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    Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    I have a user who e-mails a major client a red-lined version of a document for their review and a clean copy of the document on which they are to make revisions. The client, regardless of instructions, proceeds to make changes on the red-lined version which results in innumberable problems for the secretary on this end who receives it back and attempts to clean it up, as you can imagine.

    My thought was to use Word's document protection and password protect against modification on the red-lined version. However, when we send the attachment through Outlook and open the document in Word, the user can go to Tools and Unprotect the document. What are we doing wrong? Or, can anyone offer any other suggestions for ways to keep the user from altering the red-lined version of the document? We'd appreciate any help you can give us.

    Thank you.
    Karnie Moesenthin
    Technical Training and Development Professional
    Legal Industry

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    karniem:

    I would recommend sending the red-lined version as a .pdf file. That is the only way we've found to keep people from editing documents of any format. If that doesn't work, for whatever reason, I'd probably put a text watermark on the redlined version that reads "Do Not Edit" so that they see it. Then, protect the document so that they have to take an extra step to make the edits.

    Password protecting the document won't work because you'll have to give the recipient the password for them to open the document.

    Oh! Just had another idea. Once the redline is created, you could "lock" it with the forms toolbar (be sure to close the toolbar when you're done). Then the recipient would really have to go looking for a way to get in an edit it.

    Hope one of those helps...

    klyjen

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    I'm not sure how someone can unprotect the document without the password... unless it is saved as RTF, in which case the password is not saved.

    When I send out documents that I don't want edited, I generally protect the document for forms, even if it really isn't a form, using a password that I note in our document management system (because I know I'll forget what it was). This is imperfect because the recipient cannot access Page Setup, so I need to always remember to set the paper source to default or autoselect to avoid wasting a lot of someone's letterhead, pleading paper, etc. Also, as noted above, these passwords can be expunged by going through an RTF conversion, and as discussed in another thread, StarOffice and OpenOffice don't honor them. So in the end, if you want to do more than discourage editing, you might have to go with PDF.

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    Hi Karnie:
    One other thought...a non-technocratic, but effective technique. Have the secretary make a copy of the redlined document before sending it out (a good practice, anyhow). Accept all the changes in it. After getting back the version from the client, you can use the compare Documents feature to see what changes have been made. You would open the version that the client sent back, & use Tools/Compare Documents... & open your copy. (I think have this right; sometimes I get confused which document I'm comparing).

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    Thanks for your suggestions. We thought of the .pdf option, but not all of our users have Acrobat Writer. Not only that but while the specific attorney involved is a whiz with e-mail, he's not interested in becoming particularly savy about "new technology." Since he sometimes send these documents on his own, and for the above reason, we decided that option wasn't appropriate for their needs. As usual, I appreciate the help of other Loungers. I think we have our answer now, based on the protect forms option. Thanks again.
    Karnie Moesenthin
    Technical Training and Development Professional
    Legal Industry

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    I think we've decided that the protect forms option will be the best bet and are hoping that they don't know about this lounge and learn about converting to an .rtf file. Thanks for that bit of information - and also the reminder about the print setup issues. As far as the password being forgotten issue, in this instance it is only the redline version that will be protected to discourage the users on the other end from making changes to it. We could always do another redline on this end, if necessary, so that shouldn't become an issue. As far as .pdf files go, please see response to previous suggestion. Thanks for the valuable suggestions. I always know I can count on helpful advice in this group.
    Karnie Moesenthin
    Technical Training and Development Professional
    Legal Industry

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    Thanks for the suggestion, Phil. I forwarded it to the secretary most concerned, and thought it a good one until I realized that her major problem with that is that she then needs to cut and paste all the additions, deletions, changes, etc. to the clean copy of the document since there's no way to get rid of the red-lined stuff automatically once you have accepted changes originally. I think she's decided that the protect forms option will work, since we don't think the users read this Lounge and know about the conversion to .rtf. At least, we hope they don't. I really appreciate the time you and so many others put in answering my questions - and those of others in the Lounge.
    Karnie Moesenthin
    Technical Training and Development Professional
    Legal Industry

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    Hi Karnie:
    One more suggestion. It seems to me that the secretary is creating unnecessary work for herself. Why does she want changes made only to the original? If she simply uses Track Changes and makes sure that under Tools/Options/Track Changes, the dropdown boxes to the right of "Mark:" are set to "by author", she will know which changes are made by her & which by others. Each will be in a different color. In fact, she can password protect the document for Tracked changes, so only she can accept or reject changes.

    At the end of the editing, she can then go through & accept or reject any change she wishes.

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    Phil, I'll pass this on to her, but I think it has to do with the fact that we are using DOCS Open and CompareRite, so our red-line version comes from CompareRite. The red-lining, etc., does not then show as a change, as it was part of the "original" document created by the CompareRite process. If the other users make changes to that document, yes, we can use track changes to show the changes they made, but she then either has to go in and manually remove the red-lined information created by CompareRite, or cut and paste the new changes to a "clean" copy of the version from which the red-line was created. (Am I making sense? I hope so.) That's why the user should make any new changes on a clean copy of the document on which we can track the changes, as opposed to on the red-line version.

    We regard everyone's suggestions as a form of brainstorming, and really appreciate the opportunity to exchange ideas. Thanks again for your suggestions. The secretary involved has now asked me for the URL for this group, and probably will ask you all her own questions in the near future!
    Karnie Moesenthin
    Technical Training and Development Professional
    Legal Industry

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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    Yes. Stop trying to prevent the document from being altered, because I may be on the other side and trying to open it. I do this all the time. Gosh am I glad that "save as" to .rtf strips a password. As for finding a way to Unprotect for Everything -- we've already done it.

    Use your static versions properly as you have been, and, if the recipient can't follow instructions, then ONLY send comparisons as unalterable PDFs.

    DO NOT USE TRACK CHANGES IN A LAW FIRM. Ask your Risk Management partner about this if you don't believe me. Use the words "inadvertent disclosure" if you want a particularly virulent reaction.

    DeltaView is one choice to replace the aging CompareRite and the one I recommend.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Re: Document protection (Word 2000/Outlook 2000)

    We try and try and try to get people to quit using Track Changes, including messages to them every couple of months about the issues involved. In fact, that's why I questioned the veracity of the Alcatel document - I want to include it in my message about the problems. Unfortunately, we still have people who won't listen. "Our clients insist that we use it," is a common theme. We can only keep warning them...! Thanks for your replies.
    Karnie Moesenthin
    Technical Training and Development Professional
    Legal Industry

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