Read Only Document Question

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Scenario: We have a Word document that is our Facility Calendar. The secretary updates it as requested with meetings, seminars, etc. The problem: When someone else has the document open, she cannot save changes she makes. She then has to email everyone and tell them to close the document. Details: We will not use Outlook or any other calendaring software. I tried, but Word is all they will use. I have tried to save the file as an HTM file, and it works well as far as her being able to save changes, but it screws up the format of the calendar...(thanks MS) We know we can mark it as 'Read Only' and then anytime we want to make modifications, change it back, and then mark as Read Only again. This is frustrating as she modifies it several times a day. Does anyone have any ideas for a solution? thanks!

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Hmmm… I’m not sure if this will work due to the nature of Word, but try this:
1) Put the calendar document in its own directory
2) Make all the calendar users (read only folks) members
of a Calendar Reader group
3) Make the secretary who maintains the calendar the sole
member of a Calendar Maint group
4) Grant read-only privileges at the directory AND
document levels to the Calendar Reader group
5) Grant read/write/create/delete (just short of Full
Control) rights to the Calendar Maint group at the
directory and file level.

It’s been a while since I’ve fooled around with access rights, but I think you can see where I’m going. You want to force everyone into READ-ONLY mode for that document except the person who maintains it. I think this will accomplish that, but you never know.

If it doesn’t work, you need to get these people to accept a calendaring tool such as in Outlook.

Maybe there’s a calendar-only application out there you could use, but the current method is nuts.

Hopefully my suggestion will work.


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  • King300
    Save the document (in Word) with a password for modification. Your secretary will have the password and can update the file. All others will be able to read the calendar in a Read-Only mode. Good luck.
    0 pointsBadges:
  • Timbol
    If your Org is running Exchange, then this is a round peg in a square hole scenario. How much time has been wasted on this? I am sure you have more pressing issues to deal with. If people refuse to adapt then they will soon be out of business.
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  • Stevesz
    If you are also running an Exchange server, get together with management (no change will ever happen without the involvement of management) and point out to them the benefits of using a public folder calendar that can be accessed not only with Outlook in the office, but via OWA when out of the office. Once they are on board withthe idea, the best way to accomplish the change over would be to set the Word document as read-only and all new additions and changes will go to the public folder calendar. Everyone would have read permissions there, and a chosen few would also have write permissions. Without the Exchange server, the idea of placing the docment in its own shared folder with read-only permissions for everyone except th eupdater(s) is probably the best method to use. Steve//
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  • Jholdun
    Approach problem as training issue: All but secretary open calendar document in read-only mode.
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  • Mistoffeles
    I was using groupwaremore than a decade ago, there's no reason why everyone shouldn't be using it by now, it's the 21st century not the 19th. Follow stevesz's advice, change is something that has to be engineered at a high level. Once management is on board, you will be able to get a sensible system in place. Show them the benefits in productivity and cost-savings that can be gained, management types love anything that produces revenue or cuts costs.
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  • Mstry9
    I've dealt with this type of problem before. The thing is, even if she is the only person with write permissions and some has it open reading it, then she can still not save changes until it's closed. You may put it in a network share and when she needs to change it take the share offline. This will give her the control she needs. Once changes are saved then bring the share back online. At least this eliminates the need for her to contact the person(s) that have it open.
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  • Coggrinda
    Hi, There's an easy solution to this. She should keep the document in a directory on her PC, since she's the only one who updates it. Then, when she updates it, she should print to a pdf file on the shared network directory. If someone wants to make this really easy for her, they can write a print macro to print the file to the directory, with an incrementing file name. That way, she won't get write errors when someone else has the file she's trying to write to open. To make the incrementer work, you need another file on her PC which contains a's not hard to do. If she doesn't have a pdf writer, go to You can try the free version, but for $10, it's worth the licence cost. Hope this helps...
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