Is there a way to lock MS Project into a read-only file that disallows the read-only user from adding or removing columns, changing the size attributes of existing columns or rows, etc.? The password option has a read only function; however, it still allows the user to add and delete columns, change views, etc. Specifically, I am looking for a way, if possible, to make the file act like a .pdf file.


1 Answer 1


Creating a World-Readable Project File with a Write-Reservation

What you want is called "write-reservation" in MS-speak. You can find instructions on Microsoft's support site under "Password-protect a project file". Modify them for your particular use case as follows:

  1. Select File -> Save As.
  2. Don't fill in a Protection password if you want to allow anyone to open it read-only.
  3. Set the Write reservation password to a strong password.
  4. Check the Read-only recommended box if you're so inclined. NB: This doesn't actually protect the file; it just adds a warning message when opened read/write.
  5. Distribute the file as you see fit.

Supported Versions

The instructions above are supported in the following versions of MS Project:

  • Project Online Desktop Client
  • Project Professional 2013
  • Project Professional 2016
  • Project Standard 2010
  • Project Standard 2013
  • Project Standard 2016
  • Project Standard 2019
  • Project Professional 2019

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.