• Protected View is a feature in Office for Word that prevents you from applying changes to files. Used in a PDF document, it implies that the user will not be able to modify its contents
  • There are different modes or ways to select if we want to open a PDF in Protected View, such as establishing a future configuration that is more in line with what we want or need

As you probably know, the PDF file format is one of the most interesting in computing. Thanks to it, we can protect documents that originally belonged to other formats, making sure that nobody can retouch them, for greater peace of mind. That said, we believe that knowing how to open your PDFs in Protected View in Word will prevent you from applying changes to them, keeping them original, just as you received them.

And this clarification must be made because, generally, the PDF documents that we open in Word are opened in such a way that they are enabled to be able to edit them. But we, today, we want the opposite: to protect them. Fortunately, it’s meant to be, and it’s possible to customize your Office experience to make it happen.

The idea is that, from the blocking of the contents of the document that interests us, those internal elements that constitute it remain untouchable, preventing someone from modifying them on their own.

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How to open PDF documents with Word’s Protected View?

Directly when opening the file

If you want to open your Word documents with Protected View enabled, you have to follow these steps:

  • Open Word as you normally do, and go to Options, going to Trust Center
  • Click File Blocking Settings, and check the Open in PDF Files checkbox
  • Click the OK button to confirm the action
PDF Protected View Word 2

As you can see, this solution, which is the simplest, takes absolutely nothing.

From Group Policy

The section or section of Group Policy allows us to indicate some preferences to the Windows operating system. Eventually, we can tweak it so that the result is to open the PDFs in Word with Protected View:

  • Search for gpedit in the Taskbar search box for your version of Windows
  • Click on the search result that refers to gpedit and enter the User Settings
  • Next, go to File Blocking Settings, double click on the XML converters
  • Choose the Enabled option, Open in Protected View, Accept and confirm if the system asks you to do so
PDF Protected View Word 3

Note that if you want to restore the original configuration, you can always open this same configuration within the Local Group Policy Editor, choosing the Not configured option.

Other frequently asked questions

How do I prevent a PDF from opening in Protected View?

To prevent a PDF from opening in Protected View in Word, you need to follow the steps mentioned above. Within the Word Options panel go to Trust Center, Trust Center Settings, File Block Settings, and uncheck the Open PDF File Verification box.

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Thus you will achieve the opposite effect, which is to allow editing of PDF documents in Word.

How do I force a PDF to open in a specific view?

To force a PDF file to open in a specific view of Word, you must use group policy. As we explained, you have to open the Office Open XML Converters and choose the Enabled option. Finally, the last thing will be to select an option from the drop-down list that you feel comfortable with.

What else would you like to know about managing PDF files in Office?

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