How to Make Word Document Fillable but Not Editable

Microsoft Word has options to add fillable forms and protect document. Here’s how to make Word document fillable but not editable so you can be worry-free.

word document that is fillable with picture
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Microsoft Word has become one of the most popular word processing tools. It has many advanced features, including making a digital document with fillable forms. But, some people still don’t know how to create one, including to make the document not editable. Here’s how to make a Word document fillable but not editable.

If you work to create a digital contract, you might be tired of how many people edit the contract in the wrong way to fill their data. But don’t worry, Microsoft Word has a feature letting you create a document with fillable fields or forms that others can fill without having to worry that they edit a part of the document that they should not edit, even just a checkmark.

This Microsoft Word feature lets people fill blank forms/fields and prevent them from editing the rest part of the contract. You will need an actual legal document that you want to edit. It is really hard to write your legal document without an attorney. But, some websites offer you a basic template that you can use to edit and insert your fillable forms.

You can these methods on Microsoft Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, and Word 2019. You can also do these things on Mac and Windows 10 PC.

How to Make Word Document Fillable Forms

If you’re ready, let’s insert fillable forms/fields you need for your legal document in Word. But, you will need a Developer tab. If you don’t have a Developer tab showing in your Microsoft Word ribbon, you have to show it by doing the below steps.

Open the Word document. Click the File tab.

how to make word document fillable form

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Now, choose Options. It will pop out a dialog box showing advanced options you can change in Microsoft Word, including a way to add a feature letting you insert many fillable forms/fields easily.

how to convert word to fillable pdf

Now, click Customize Ribbon. It will show you a way to change tabs in Microsoft Word.

how to make word document into fillable pdf

At the right-bottom, check Developer and click OK to save.

microsoft word developer options

Now that the Developer tab exists in your Microsoft Word, let’s click and you will be able to add many fillable forms/fields in Microsoft Word.

word developer tab

Those fillable fields/forms are located in the Controls group in the Developer tab. You can see there’s a list of fillable forms you can add to your Word documents.

controls developer microsoft word to fill form

Now, on your legal document in Word, bring the cursor to the area where you want to add fillable fields. In this example, I would like to insert date picker fields that are located before the Name field.

form in microsoft word

Now, for instance, to add the date picker form, you can click the element in the Controls group saying Date Picker Content Control. This fillable field allows people to set the date without having to manually write it.

date picker on microsoft word developer

Now that you have clicked that Date Picker Content Control, you will immediately see Click or tap to enter a date control at the area you put the cursor in.

enter a date in microsoft word form

When you click the date picker control or any kind of fillable form in Word, it will look like this:

picking a date in microsoft word form

Now, let’s make another fillable form in Microsoft Word. Again, put your cursor in the area you want to add a fillable form in. For instance, you can add a text box form in Microsoft Word to write a name.

microsoft word document

Click Rich Text Content Control to add a fillable form to write any text inside it.

rich text on word document form

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The text box as a fillable form in Microsoft Word will look like this:

enter text box form in microsoft word that is fillable

You make many more fillable forms in Microsoft Word. You can also allow others to insert pictures for your legal document using this fillable field: Picture Content Control.

fillable

Click it and it will look like this:

word document that is fillable with picture

Now that you’ve done adding the Developer tab to Microsoft Word and making Word document fillable forms, let’s protect your legal document from being edited and only allow others to fill the blank forms.

How to Make Word Document Fillable and Prevent Others to Edit The Rest Part of Your Legal Document

Now on the same document, go to the Developer tab. Click Restrict Editing. This is an option that allows you to restrict editing for your Word document even if that document doesn’t have fillable forms in it, for example adding a password to a Word document in general.

make the word document uneditable

See the right side of your document. You can choose Word to limit formatting to a selection of styles, but this is not that important since your need is only to allow others to fill in the blanks while preventing them to edit the rest part of your Word document.

To make that happen, check to Allow only this type of editing in the document. At the bottom, click the combo box No changes (Read only).

password protect word document that is fillable

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While the combo box is opened, choose Filling in forms so you allow others to fill in the blank forms while the rest part of the document is locked.

password on word document that is fillable

Now, you need to apply that by clicking Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.

word document that is fillable

You will see a dialog box asking you for a password. This password allows others to edit your documents. This makes sure you can edit the Word document later after the document’s forms have been filled.

password so the word document only fillable

Click OK to save the Word document. You’ve done adding the Developer tab to Microsoft Word, making the Word document fillable, and preventing others from editing the rest part of the document except for filling the blank forms.

How to Convert Word to Fillable PDF

Unfortunately, Microsoft Word doesn’t offer you a way to create a fillable PDF document. Even if you can save a Word document will fillable forms as PDF, that PDF can be probably opened with different programs other than Microsoft Word. One of the popular programs to do that is Adobe Acrobat.

Download Adobe Acrobat

Open your Adobe Acrobat program. Click the Tools tab. Select Prepare form.

Adobe Acrobat can automatically scan a document and add the fillable fields.

You can manage the layout of your legal PDF document with a fillable form directly at the right pane.

You can save the document as a PDF by clicking File and then choosing Save.


Microsoft Word has many advanced features allowing you to do many legal things like this. To make the Word document fillable, you have to add the Developer tab first. Then, you can use that tab to insert many fillable fields in your Word document. Finally, make that document protected with a password so only you can edit it.

ALSO READ: How to Insert Horizontal Line in Word

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