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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    No changes, please... (2003)

    Is there a way I can save a word document where the recipient cannot change the data? When I set the security to be read-only, the data can overwritten but not saved. I know in Word 2007 you can save a document as a .pdf but is there a comparable solution in 2003?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Thanked 31 Times in 31 Posts

    Re: No changes, please... (2003)

    You can protect the document for forms (Tools | Protect Document...). The user won't be able to edit the contents of the document. But this is not really secure: the user can use Insert | File... to insert the protected document into another document; the inserted contents will be unprotected...

    Although Office 2003 does not have built-in support for saving as PDF, there are both free and commercial applications that can create a locked PDF file. But even that is not secure - OCR software can be used to convert a printed copy, or even a screenshot, to an editable document.

    So basically, you can make it difficult for the user, but there is no 100% certain way to protect a document.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Thanked 94 Times in 90 Posts

    Re: No changes, please... (2003)

    There is no airtight protection for Word documents using the standard features of Word. For example, you can protect a document for forms (Tools>Protect), but this protection can be removed in a number of ways. There are some (non-free) add-ins that alter the underlying binary format of a .doc file to really lock it down tightly, but that might be overkill for your needs. If a PDF is sufficient, you can create one using a free PDF printer driver such as CutePDF Writer.

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