How to Lock Text Boxes in Word

By Tricia Goss

Lock and protect your custom forms in Word.
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Word provides tools and features that allow you to create custom documents. One type of document you can design is a fillable form, which lets you add content controls -- such as text controls, which are text boxes in which other users can enter text. After you create a form, you can lock it so that anyone who works with the document cannot change or delete the text boxes or other controls, although they can still type into them.

Display the Developer tab of the ribbon if it is not already visible. Select the "File" tab and click "Options." Select "Customize Ribbon." Select the "Developer" check box in the Main Tabs list under Customize the Ribbon and click "OK."

Add a text control. Place the cursor where you want the text box to appear. Select the "Developer" tab and click "Design Mode" in the Controls group. Click "Rich Text Content Control" to allow users to format the text or type an entire paragraph or select "Plain Text Content Control" to limit the text they can add.

Set the text box properties. Click on the control to select it. Click the "Developer" tab and click on "Properties" in the Controls group to open the Content Control Properties dialog. Choose the options you want to apply and click "OK."

Lock the form. Press "Ctrl-A" to select the entire document or click "Select" in the Editing group of the Home tab and click "Select All." Click on the "Developer" tab and click "Restrict Editing" in the "Protect" group.

Select "Allow Only This Type of Editing in the Document" in the Editing Restrictions section and choose "Filling in Forms" in the drop-down list. Click the "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection" button and save the document.