When you open a document in Word, the document opens as read-only

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SYMPTOMS
When you open a document in one of the Microsoft Word versions that is listed in the "Applies to" section, the document opens as read-only.
CAUSE
This issue may occur when one of the following conditions is true:
  • You only have read-only permissions to open the document.
  • Another user who has read-only permissions has opened the document.
  • Another user has opened the document as read-only.
  • You open the document from a Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 document library.
WORKAROUND
To work around this issue, use one of the following methods, depending on your situation.

Method 1: Require a password to open the document for changes

When a file is opened as read-only, any additional access by another user will always be read-only. This occurs because Word creates an "owner" file when a document is opened. The purpose of the owner file is to let Word manage the locking of the document and to control access to the document.

For example, when a user who has read permissions opens a document, and then a second user who has read/write permissions opens the same document, the document opens as read-only for the second user.

To work around this issue, the document should be saved by using the Password to modify option.

To save a document by using the Password to modify option, follow these steps:
  1. Open the document in Word.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. On the Tools menu in the Save As dialog box, click Security Options.
  4. In the Password to modify box, type a password for the document, and then click OK.
  5. In the Confirm Password dialog box, retype the same password, and then click OK.
If the document has been saved by using the Password to modify option, subsequent users can open the document as expected by providing the password.

Method 2: Modify the document in Word

By default, when you open a document from a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 document library, the document is opened as read-only.

To open the document so that you can make changes, click the arrow next to the file name in the document library. Then, click Edit in Microsoft Office Word.
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Article ID: 909134 - Last Review: 12/09/2015 03:28:19 - Revision: 2.2

Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition, Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition

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