Recommend Read Only (Document Collaboration)

I frequently write documents for large federated customers that may have anywhere from 3 to 30 reviewers. Microsoft Word 2003 has made such collaboration easy with the track changes and merge documents features (although some learning curve exists in order to read a chage-tracked document). Many times, however, when all the work is done, I need to send out a clean version of the document, without everyone's comments, changes, etc.

The Remove Hidden Data Add-In (available here) does a wonderful job of perfoming this function. However, it contains a particularly annoying feature. Every document that is processed by this add-in is automatically flagged as recommend read only. I never knew such an option existed in Word until today. I kept getting prompted that the file should be opened as read only, but couldn't find anything in the file properties (at the NTFS level) or the document properties (from the file menu) that supported this. Nor was the setting located in the protect document feature on the tools menu. You can find the option in the security tab of the tools/options menu, called "Recommend Read-Only." I generally don't use many of the features on this tab, so it was new to me, but thought I could share it with others.

In any event, it was amazing to me how difficult it was to find out where this setting was located. Eventually, I found the answer on a help desk web site for Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Apparently, this is a more commonly used feature in our nation's universities than in our businesses (or I am just no longer the expert I once was on MS Word).