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I am running into an issue with a user whose Word document is somehow turning itself into Read-Only. The user is using Word 2003 and is accessing a document that is in a Server 2008 share. The document itself starts out as a normal, editable document (user has Full Control permissions), and the user is able to save and do the 'normal' things you would do to a document. However, after a couple of saves, the document turns to Read-Only (according to the title bar) even though the Read-Only attribute is not checked on the document's properties.

Here is some additional information about the situation:

*User has approximately 5-8 Word documents open at a time

*User saves the document frequently (sometimes at a frequency of once per minute)

*Once the document is closed it will open as a normal document if reopened

*When the document does turn to Read-Only the user will do a "Save As" on the document and save it as FILENAME # where # is some increment of how many times this has happened (some documents are up to their 30th iteration)

I understand that there is probably some room for user education here and that they could just be copying the RO document to a new one, closing and opening the RO doc, then copying all the information back. However, I would like to get to the route cause of the problem and try to stop it from happening in the first place.

UPDATE: Apparently the reinstall did not fix the issue. I researched the issue a bit more and found that disabling the background save may take care of it, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet. Does anyone else have any other ideas?

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do other users have the same document open? – Keith Jul 17 '09 at 18:45
No--this document is part of this particular user's home network share. – Psycho Bob Jul 17 '09 at 19:36

In the interest of helping you resolve your problem here's a resolution I found at WordTips:

The only way she was able to get around the problem was to turn off the automatic backup file feature in Word (Tools | Options | Save tab, clear Always Create Backup Copy) while working in that document.

Have you considered implementing a real-time office document sharing plugin like DocVerse? Note: As this product is currently in beta it only supports PowerPoint but will support all Office docs in the future. I used it as an example for implementing a more integrated way of sharing docs across a network.

Also, this Read-Only hassle could be related to a network permissions issue as opposed to a document permissions issue since it involves files on the share. I'm assuming the user doesn't experience this issue when they save and edit files locally.

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The documents that the user accesses and saves in this way are not stored locally, so I couldn't speak to that user's ability to work with local documents in the same manner. – Psycho Bob Jul 17 '09 at 19:39

We started experiencing the same issue with Office 2007 (both Word and Excel docs) a while back. It happened in a number of scenarios, as well. Editing a doc stored locally (both on XP and a Win7 build), a doc stored in SharePoint 2007, a doc on a file share, etc...

Luckily, when we started having this issue, Office 2007 SP2 was only about a week or two away from release. Once it came out, I installed SP2, and since then the issue has not come back (knock on wood).

I know you are running Office 2003, but I would at least make sure its fully patched and see if that helps. Also, check with Microsoft to see if there is a hotfix available that hasn't been released as a standalone patch or rolled into a service pack yet.

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I know this is old but I'm still getting this on a mapped network drive.

My workaround is to save-as to the same file using the UNC path instead of the mapped path.

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That's not a bad idea. That would have been much easier! – Psycho Bob Apr 29 '11 at 15:00
Try disconnecting and the remapping the network drive. This seems to have solved it for me. – CAD bloke May 1 '11 at 8:30
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It appears that going into the and disabling background saving does the trick.

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Yes, and one thing to note is that in Office 2010 you need to go to File => Options => Advanced => "Save" Grouping => Uncheck "Allow background saves" – Mike Perrenoud Sep 4 '12 at 16:54

This problem is not peculiar to Word 2003. I get it on Word 2007 as well, and it occurs on network shares and local files. I found this thread looking for any information about it. I will attempt turning off the "Save Auto-recover Information every.." option, and see if that works. It is ironic that one must turn off the ability to automatically save a document in order to be able to save it on purpose.

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