Launching Word Document as readonly

I want to launch a word document as readonly so the user can't update it.  But I really don't want to mark the document file as readonly.

I can do this by using the word object, ie:

Sub LaunchDoc(byval DocName)
  Dim oW as Word.Application
  Set oW = new Word.Application
  ow.Open Docname,ReadOnly:=True
end sub

But for techinal reasons, I need to be able to launch this Doc by executing Word ie:

ret=Shell(WinWord & " " & DocName)

My problem is that there are no switches that will make word open the doc as readonly.  Again, I prefer not to mark the Doc file as readonly.

Any ideas?
Who is Participating?
moduloConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Finalized as proposed


Community Support Moderator
Experts Exchange
Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
can you create a copy of your docname to another name and mark this copy as read-only?
You can create a temporary read-only file.... then use the shell function to open it.... use API to speed up the process.

Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

khamptonAuthor Commented:
Creating a copy and marking it as readonly is not a workable option for me:

1) I'm using Word in an Intranet application.  This means I'm limited to using JavaScript or VBScript.  Because of the warnings that the IExplorer gives, I can't really use Word as an object. (Its true that I could write an ActiveX.dll and encapselate the operation and mark it safe for the internet but that is far, far too much work for this app.)

2) I can't use API's in JavaScript or VBScript.

3) Making a temp copy of a document (some of which are very, very long) and then destroying it afterwards is far too much overhead for this application.
Hi khampton ,since i can't find any commandline switches doing this, it leaves nothing more to add to the current suggestions except for a little macro to the word document

and then adding to your commandline /m<macroname>

this little macro doesn't do anything then open the document as read-only

khamptonAuthor Commented:
bruintje -

That is what I thought was needed.  Problem is I am not well versed on macros...

1) Do I store the macro in a template?  (.dot?)

2) Can I have this template reside on the server?

3) Would you show me the code to do this?

Mucho Gracias...
Hi Khampton,

wasn't that straightforward.....since there's no switch a little script

-open word
-form new | choose blank document | open as template
-bring up the VB Editor with ALT+F11
-look for the thisdocument icon under teh current template project NOT the
-paste the code


Option Explicit

Private Sub Document_New()
Dim strYourDoc As String
Dim strTemplateName As String
  Application.ScreenUpdating = False
  ' get template based document name
  strTemplateName = ActiveDocument.Name
  ' set name of your document
  strYourDoc = "\\serverpath\yourdoc.doc"
  ' open your document as read only
  Documents.Open FileName:=strYourDoc, ReadOnly:=True
  ' close this template based empty doc
  Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub


-replace the string of strYourDoc with another document you would like to open read-only
-now save the template as on the server
-save in the same directory the strYourDoc document
-and then you can open the template
-it will open the stryourdoc as read only and close itself so the user won't notice

Hi khampton, did it help?
khamptonAuthor Commented:

Sorry, I've been away on vacation.  I will try your suggestion in the next day our two...

khamptonAuthor Commented:
Dear bruintie,

Your solution requires that I know the name of the document in advance and it must be "hardcoded".

Do you know of a way that I can develope a generic solution?

For example, do you know how to create a template, lets call it:

When word is shelled, I would then include the DocName and add a /m "...\" would then change the document to be readonly.

If that strategy can't work (because the document is opened prior to applying the template logic) then how about this:

I would shell word with the template name and include the Path\DocName.doc to be opened.  The template would grab the DocName from the commandline (?? is this possible??) and then open the doc as readonly.

Anyway, I am not well versed on macros or VBA as it relates to Word.  I would appreciate your expertise in this area.

I will increase the points if you can give me a detailed solution.

Thanks very much!
Hi khampton,
It appears that you have forgotten this question. I will ask Community Support to close it unless you finalize it within 7 days. I will ask a Community Support Moderator to:

    Refund points and save as a 0-pt PAQ.

khampton, Please DO NOT accept this comment as an answer.
EXPERTS: Post a comment if you are certain that an expert deserves credit.  Explain why.
DanRollins -- EE database cleanup volunteer
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.