How to mark a Microsoft Word document as Final to prevent changes?

Microsoft Word is the most used word processing application in the market today. Everyone tend to share a contract, agreement, etc with a client or an employee for confirmation but expect that no changes could be made by them. Can we prevent changes to a Word document anyway? Let’s explore further to understand how it really works.

The “Mark As Final” option

Microsoft Word provides an option called Mark as Final. The Mark as Final command makes the documents read-only, making everything from typing to proofing marks is disabled. In addition, the “Status” property of the documents will be changed to “Final.”

Make sure to mark the documents as final only after you finish writing and editing them. 


  • Microsoft Word 2010 or later version.
  • A document created with contents.
Note: In Office 2010 and Office 2013, the Mark as Final option is under Permissions. The following screen shot shows Mark as Final in Word 2016.

Step by Step guide

Here are the few easy steps.

Open the document you want to mark as final, click “File” and then select “Info” from the left pane.

Click the “Protect Document” button and then choose “Mark as Final” from the menu.


Click “OK” when Word warns you that the document will be marked as final and then save.

The Save As window appears automatically. Type a name for your document, select the folder where you want to store it and then click “Save.”

“Mark as Final” is not final

The Mark as Final command is not a security feature. Anyone who receives an electronic copy of a file that has been marked as final can edit that file by removing the Mark as Final status from the file by following the same steps.


If you really want to restrict who can edit it, encrypt a document with a password instead.

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