Often I open an office document (via SharePoint) as read-only, only to later realize it needs editing. Is there an easy way to do this from within Office itself?

Current workaround is to close word/excel/etc. Start-Programs-Word/Excel, then go to the 'most recent' menu and open it again, at which point it should become writeable.


For this purpose, you don't need to close the Word/Excel program entirely. You can just close the document and then reopen it.

Here is the shortcut.

  1. CtrlF4 for closing current document
  2. AltF > 1 for opening the most recent document
  • 1
    Ok, but you lose your place/view type...there's no way of just somehow flipping a flag? – adolf garlic Mar 18 '11 at 9:25
  • This is the simplest method I can think of ;) – wilson Mar 24 '11 at 15:54

I think normally when this happens, you would have realised only after doing a fair bit of editing.

One method (if you have write access to the directory) is to Save As the file to a different name, open the Save As function again to delete the original file and save the edited file as the original name again. Save As will allow you write a read-only file.


In Office 2013:

  1. Go to File
  2. select "info"
  3. For Word, select "edit document", or excel select "Edit Workbook"

This will check out the file and let you make changes and save the file.

See Microsoft's article on Opening or Checking out from a Sharepoint Library for more details.

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