How to Block Collaborators From Editing Parts of a Word Document


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Sandy Writtenhouse

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You can block collaborators from editing part of your Word document by selecting the section of the document and then using the Block Authors feature found under Review > Protect > Block Authors in Microsoft Word.

When you collaborate on a Word document, you may want to keep certain portions of text from being edited. One way is to protect parts of the document, but another is to block authors from changing your text using the Block Authors feature.

You can select a sentence or paragraph and stop collaborators from changing it. This feature isn’t necessarily hidden, but it’s not exactly obvious either. So, let’s look at how to block authors in Microsoft Word.

Block Authors in a Word Document

With the Block Authors feature, you simply select what you want to keep safe. With a couple of clicks, no one else can edit your text. The feature applies to everyone you collaborate with, so you don’t have to worry about choosing certain people. Plus, it works the same way on Windows and Mac.

RELATED: How to Password Protect a Word Document

Select the portion of your document you want to stop others from editing. Go to the “Review” tab and click the “Protect” drop-down menu.

Choose the “Block Authors” drop-down arrow and pick “Block Authors.” The option is grayed out if you aren’t sharing the document with anyone or if you have something other than text selected, like an image.

Block Authors on the Protect tab in Word

You’ll then see an icon and indicator next to your text. You’ll also see a dotted line, similar to a bracket, around the left side of the text.

Text blocked from editing in Word

When a collaborator opens the document, either on their desktop or in Word for the web, as shown below, they’ll see the same block icon and indicator.

If they attempt to edit any of the protected portions, they won’t be able to.

Text blocked from editing in Word for the web

Unblock Authors

If you want to remove the protection from a particular portion or all the areas you’ve blocked in the document, you can do so.

To unblock a specific portion on Windows, right-click the icon and deselect “Block Authors.”

Unblock authors in Word on Windows

On Mac, select the arrow attached to the block icon and click “Block Authors” to remove the protection.

Unblock authors in Word on Mac

To unblock all portions, go to the Review tab, choose Protect, and pick “Block Authors.” Select “Release All of My Blocked Areas” on Windows or “Unblock All My Blocked Areas” on Mac.

Release All of My Blocked Areas in Word on Windows

You may have a signature line, contact information, or text that you worded perfectly. Whatever it is that you don’t want your collaborators to change, check out the Block Authors feature in Word.

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