You have the classic tools of Password to Open and Password to Modify available to you, as in most Microsoft Office applications. From the Save as dialog box, choose the Tools menu (in the lower left for Windows XP, in the lower middle for Vista/Windows 7). If you want many people to be able to read it, but just a few to be able to modify it, set two different passwords in each of the fields and distribute accordingly.
You can also restrict the kind of revisions you will allow by choosing Protect Document, found on the Review tab in the Project group. If you’ve ever been undone by someone else’s modifications to your styles, you can use 1. Formatting restrictions to nip that right in the bud. You can allow only tracked changes (see below), the filling in of forms where form tools have been applied or only commenting by choosing the options under 2. Editing restrictions. Do not forget 3. Start enforcement. That activates all the controls you’ve put in place.
By turning tracked changes on from the Tracking group, you give yourself the ability to see exactly what was changed and by whom. Turn the reviewing pane on to see the changes in a list, in addition to the mark up in the document itself. By right clicking the change in either location, you can choose to accept or reject changes.
When the horse is out of the barn…
If people have created their own copies of your document and made their revisions and sent them back, you are now faced with multiple documents which represent multiple versions. Use the Compare button in the Compare group to either Compare or Combine multiple versions. The Show Source Documents button can be helpful to get eyes on each version and then the combined one in the document section.
Don’t miss Business Management Daily’s Advanced Word 2007 webinar this week (3/22/2011 1PM ET) with Vickie Sokol Evans, MCT.