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How to prevent downloading files, still check out/check in RRS feed

  • Question

  • My company is still on SharePoint Server 2007. I am a proposal manager and would like to prevent people from downloading files without losing the ability to check them out. There are a couple of people on a very large proposal team that continue to download and circulate drafts through email chains, which of course wreaks havoc on version control. Is there any way to do this? Thanks in advance.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:25 PM

All replies

  • I honestly don't know of a way at all to prevent a user from downloading a document entirely, especially since they technically would have to download it in some sense just to view the document. Using Information Rights Management, you could prevent a user from sending out that draft through email, printing, etc... But you'd have to configure that on the network side first, and there are no real ways to prevent a user from taking a screenshot and circulating that image etc...

    Another option which I'd had a customer use previously, was they kept word versions of documents in a seperate document library with no read rights for normal users. This way they could update the documents as needed, and use version control etc... Then when they had an official, or a version they wanted to send around, they'd create a PDF version of the file, and that's the version that was sent around. Any changes to the document would be either emailed comments, or hard copy scribble on the document, but it all went back to the document owner, who would modify the Word version, and produce another PDF.

    But as for completely preventing downloads, and still wanting to give a user access to the document library to view the files, I think that's not something that can be done. At least not OOB. Maybe with some code hacking you can force the documents to open directly in the web browser, and then somehow disable downloads from the web browser. But that's just theory and may be more trouble than it's worth.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:09 PM