Want to lock down an important Word document? Here’s how to add a password, make documents read-only, and other tricks for protecting your most sensitive files.

PCMag reviews products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use.

You’ve created a critical Word document that you wish to keep private or only share with certain people. Perhaps you don’t want others to be able to edit it, and you certainly don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands. Microsoft has a few options for protecting it.

You can finalize the document to alert people not to edit it. You can lock it down with a password. You can restrict the type of editing others can perform on the document. A digital signature can be added. You can even employ more than one of these tactics to offer added security.

I’m using Word 2016 here, but the options for protecting a document are the same for the prior couple of versions.