Cannot Edit Word Document

I have a Word 2007 document that will not allow me to make any corrections. When I left click on the area where the correction is needed, it automatically jumps to a fill-in form at the end of the document.

Submitted by Anonymous

ANSWER: You cannot edit this Word document because it has been protected to only allow filling in form fields. You have to remove the protection to edit the form. That means you need to have the password that was used to protect the form.

Note: the editing controls for Microsoft Word forms are not shown in the ribbon by default, so you first have to activate the Developer tab to use them.

To remove the password and allow editing, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Developer tab.
  2. In the Protection group, click Document Protection. A panel will open on the right.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the panel, then click Stop Protection.
  4. Enter the password for the document, then click OK.

If you need to edit the actual form fields, in the Controls group, click Design Mode.

When finished editing the form fields, click Design Mode again to deselect it. (You will not be able to password protect the form if it is in Design Mode.)

Now you can edit the document as needed. Don’t forget to put the password protection back in place after you edit, otherwise some form fields may not work properly and other users will be able to change the form.


  1. Jim says

    Sue, Help!
    Grateful for your tip on my sudden inability to edit a single one of my
    Word documents (of which I have thousands). This happened after
    some recent would-be upgrade of Word from Microsoft. I cannot find
    the “DEVELOPER TAB” of which you speak. Where precisely is it

    Example of problem: I keep a TO-DO LIST on my Desktop (iMAC,
    on Yosemite, ver 10.10.1). First things mornings, I check it. I also
    remove anything I’ve done from the list and of course add anything
    new that needs to be done throughout the day. This document can
    no longer be edited. As for a “password,” I never created a password
    for any of my Word documents.

    Grateful for any assistance!