Our company has a lot of agreements and appendixes lying on a mutual drive, almost everyone can access. Being human we make mistakes once in a while, and sometimes results in saving on top of a standard document.

I would like to know, without using code, that users may only save as.
Is there by any chance this is possible, or do you have another way to do this?

The essential goal, is to have a standard document, which no one can edit, but whenever saved as, it is okay. I once saved a file, which resulted in whenever it is opened, it must be saved as first. I don't know how, but this is a great solution, if possible to recreate.

Thank you in advance :)


What you want to do is turn the document into a template. This means that once you open the document, you get the content of the document, but Word will treat it as a new document.

This means that if the user presses Save, the Save As dialog is presented instead, and if the user makes a change to the document, presses close, a warning pops up saying this is a new document, if the user wants to discard it or save as.

How to turn a Word document into a Word template?

Inside the document, press File -> Save as. In the type, change Word Document (.DocX) to Word Template (.DotX)

Give the document a name and save it. Note that even though you may specify a location to save the document somewhere, it will move the document to your profile's templates folder.

This folder is: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

You can move it out of this folder to a network share and presto.

If you dedicate a network folder with templates, you can even setup that folder in the settings in Word and allow new documents to be created straight from Word, which will have the content of these files.

How to edit a Word template?

Now, if you want to edit the template, all you need to do is open it the right way.

In explorer, navigate to where you have the template listed and rightclick the document. You'll notice that the context menu lists the following 2 options:


The new one is bold, which is the default action. This creates a new document based on the template. The open option will actually open the file itself and allows you to edit the document rather than creating a new one based on the file.

  • This is just was I was searching for! Thank you :)
    – Patrick S
    Jan 11 '19 at 11:19
  • Just a quick question. How do I change within the template? Will I do so, just by saving ontop of this file, within the same folder? :)
    – Patrick S
    Jan 11 '19 at 11:29
  • You search for the template on your harddisk, then right-click the document, and instead of choosing new, you choose open. Now you can make changes and save to the template.
    – LPChip
    Jan 11 '19 at 13:14

There could be multiple ways to prevent editing a document, by folder or document level:

  • at document level - I think you mean this - you can "mark as final":

    • Use Mark as Final to make your Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file read-only. When you mark as final, typing, editing commands, proofing marks are disabled or turned off, and the file becomes read-only, and the Status property of the document is set to Final.

    • this way you won't be able to edit the file unless removing "mark as final" (hopefully after saving it to a different location

  • or at file level, whatever technology you use, there should be a way giving only read-only access for users.

    • this case users will be able to edit the file, but won't be able to save it overwriting original version, need to save it to another location
  • Also, don't forget that, if enabled, Windows also has "Previous Versions" which, in the event a file's contents are overwritten, there is a capability of returning a file to a previous version. Finally, good old backup...
    – Kinnectus
    Jan 11 '19 at 10:25
  • I'm not to familiar with read-only, but aren't you able to say "I want to edit" and then it's possible to do so within the document? Or does force a [Save as], before they can edit within the file? :)
    – Patrick S
    Jan 11 '19 at 10:25
  • @PatrickS please see my edited answer Jan 11 '19 at 10:31
  • Although this does answer the question, this is not the optimal solution. See my answer for what you want to use. :)
    – LPChip
    Jan 11 '19 at 10:34

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