Can type into read-only Word docs in Firefox but not other browsers RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a situation where I need to allow users to open a Word doc from SharePoint (either SharePoint 2013 or 2016, doesn't matter which) and type into the read-only document so they can print it out without needing to save the file back. This works, but only while using Firefox. 

    Using IE, Edge or Chrome to open the Word document, you get the yellow 'READ-ONLY We opened this document read-only from the server [Edit Document]' banner at the top. The bottom status bar says 'You can't make this change because the selection is locked.' Same behavior for both Word 2013 and Word 2016. 

    If I open an Excel file from SharePoint, Excel client launches (either 2013 or 2016) and I can type into the cells even though the file is read-only. This works for all browsers.

    Why does this only work with Word using Firefox and not other browsers? Is there any way to change the behavior (registry, GPO changes etc) so that I can also type into read-only Word documents from a network location in the local client using Internet Explorer, Safari or Chrome?  

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:36 PM

All replies

  • Hi David,

    As far as I know, you cannot edit a document directly in read-only mode. You'll have to switch to edit mode by clicking the "Edit Document" to be able to edit the document. May I know which setting did you configure to change the behavior?

    Besides, are you using a click-to-run version of Office or a MSI version? As per the following blog article, the behavior has changed back to workbooks opening directly into edit mode with Office 2016 Click-to-Run Monthly Channel (Current Channel) Version 1707 (Build 8326.2058) and later, which means that if you are using the specific version, Word documents should open directly into edit mode.

    If I've misunderstood something, please feel free to let me know.


    Steve Fan

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    • Proposed as answer by Steve Fan Friday, February 9, 2018 9:17 AM
    Thursday, February 8, 2018 10:23 AM
  • We are not using the click to run version of Office. I'm testing with Office 2016 Standard (16.0.4639.1000, 32-bit) and have confirmed it works the same with Office 2013 Standard. I didn't make any changes to enable this behavior in Excel, and I've also replicated it on a SharePoint 2013 environment that is not using Office Web Apps server, so it appears to be that by default you can type into read-only Excel documents opened from SharePoint sites. You cannot save your edits back without going into Edit mode, which is as expected.

    The SharePoint 2016 farm has an Office Online Server farm joined with it. Whether I open the Excel file in the browser (Office Online Server) or open it in the local Excel client, I'm able to type into the cells in read-only mode. This is also true for Word documents, but ONLY when Firefox is used to open the Word doc from SharePoint. Using Firefox, I can click on a link to a Word document and it opens in read-only but still allows me to type into the document. As with Excel, I would need to be in edit mode to save any changes. 

    Monday, February 12, 2018 7:51 PM