Have you ever noticed the title bar of any document which you receive as an attachment in Outlook and you open it by double clicking it directly from the mail? If you notice you will see the file name and in bracket you will find “Read Only” written next to it. Why does it get opened as read only? It happens with any office file which you receive as an attachment in Outlook. It can be an Excel Spreadsheet or a Word Document or a PowerPoint Presentation; all the documents open as read only and if we make any changes then we have to save the file with some other name.

This is done as a Security measure. Emails are the easiest and the simplest mode of spreading infections. Anybody can send you any infected file which if not read only can get executed and spread the Virus or Spyware on your computer. Just as a security measure Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 always marks the attachment as Read Only. It is not only marking an attachment as read only but Outlook 2007 and 2010 also block several attachments from downloading. Recently my friend sent me some registry values in a .reg file and Outlook just did not download the attachment. I tried lowering the security in all possible ways but when Outlook said no to .reg file, I could not make it a Yes. Such kind of Security exhibited by Outlook 2007 and 2010 is good and appreciated but if you are into a business where you constantly receive office files and you have work on them then saving them with some other name before you could make any changes would not be a practical solution. If this is the case and you want open each attachment in read/write mode then you have to do it at your own risk. There is a setting with which you can stop the attachment files to open as Read Only.

Though this is happening with Outlook attachments but the setting is located in different office applications. For example if we have disable the read only thing for Word documents then we need to make the changes in Office Word, and similarly in Office Excel for excel file and so on. The place and location of this option is almost at the same place in all the office applications.

Open Microsoft Office Word 2007 or 2010. Press the Alt key and the letter ‘F’ (Alt+F). This will open the main menu of Word and there you will see a button named Word Options. Click on Word Options. Now when the Word Options Window comes up click on Trust Center in the left pane of the window and then click, Trust Center Settings. Next please click on Protected View and then disable the protected view by un-checking the box for it. Click on OK and now the Read Only mode for attachment files will get disabled. Similarly you can do the same for Excel files in Microsoft Excel and in other office applications as well