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Document Locking


Document locking is extended to Windward objects and tags. For limitations, please see the last section.


Document locking functionality in MS Office allows a user to selectively set security permissions on different sections of a document. When document locking is enabled, only the editable regions can be changed by a user, who either specifies a password or is authorized through Active Directory user-based authentication.


Turning off document protection requires entering the password protecting the document or logging into a machine with an Active Directory user account that is authorized to make document changes.


If you would like to see a sample showing how document locking can be set up, there is a great blog post over at iTree Tutorials demonstrating it on a simple text box.

Quick Tutorial

There are a few steps needed to start specifying locked and editable regions of your already existing documents.

  1. Enable the Developer Tab in Microsoft Office. This contains the Restrict Editing button.
  2. Open your document.
  3. Click Restrict Editing in the Developer Tab to open the Restrict Editing Sidebar.
  4. Select how you want to restrict your document by checking Allow only this type of editing in the document.
    • Style using Formatting Restrictions, you can have certain styles restricted to make it easier to automatically select sections of the document that are editable or locked.
    • Selection using Editing Restrictions, you can specify what can be edited from the list below:
      • Tracked Changes
      • Comments
      • Filling in Forms
      • No Changes (Read only)
    • Specify Exceptions. In the Exceptions section you can specify users from the Active Directory that are allowed to make changes to the document
      • Start by selecting a region that needs to be accessible to everyone or to specific users, then click the checkbox. The area will be highlighted, and you can do the same to more sections if you have more. 
    • Start Enforcement. Click on this button in the sidebar and you are prompted to either set a password or use Active Directory user authentication.
  5. Click OK and your document restrictions are now in effect. They will be propagated to your final output report.


Document Locking and Windward Tags

If you are trying to use Restrict Editing to keep tags from being edited, there are some considerations. AutoTag does not have a built-in locking or private function for Tags. The best alternative is to use Javelin.


If you opt to make the whole document read-only and password protect it so that another user can Output (but not edit), the person who is going to Output the template can still Output. The only trouble with this kind of work-around is that the protected document will still let other users (who have AutoTag installed) view and even edit the tags – they can use the Wizards, view all the data in your data sources, etc.  However, the edits made by a user without permissions cannot be saved; once the tag is saved, an error box will immediately appear.  If the user exits the error and then Outputs, it will Output normally. This could be problematic if you don’t want other users to be able to see data from the data sources – which they will be able to access from the Tag Editor.