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Read only content cannot be changed, no modifications will be accepted

asked 2014-08-06 10:59:22 +0100

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I have tried going into Options, Writer, Formating Aids and unticking Cursor in Protected Areas.

I have seen so many posts about this but never see a successful solution. Its a very comment problem. Please can this get solved. I want to recommend that my customers change to LibreOffice but how can I when a problem as big as this exsists.

I am using, On Windows 8.1

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@"Nick Halliwell": You posted a question and updated it stressing it's urgency. There were three answers meanwhile. Would you be so kind to tell us which answer met (part of) your question - or in which way the contributors may have misunderstood it? It should also be helpful to get linked here some of the "many posts about this". you have seen to better understand the problem.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2014-08-20 20:07:04 +0100 )edit

Lupp, the title of the post "Read only content cannot be changed. No modifications will be accepted." is the exact text of the error dialog. It has nothing to do with write-protected files, email attachments stored in /tmp, and the only "solution" out there is to delete the "protected" text. It is a known bug since 2011

and the correct answer to this post is "this is a known bug since 2011 and it is still marked as "NEW".

I have the same issue.

jerquee gravatar imagejerquee ( 2014-10-16 23:05:51 +0100 )edit

I never had experienced that specific problem - and therefore had another notion of the subject's meaning. The topic in libreofficeforum you linked in is containing one link to a bug report from 2013-06-19. It also contains an attached example which is showing for me the "fieldmark highlighting" contributors tak about but the text contained is editable for me with Writer V4.3.2 under Win 8.1 (alas!). Nonetheless we have clearly a (complicated?) bug.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2014-10-16 23:55:53 +0100 )edit

"... It has nothing to do with write-protected files, ... " It might have to do with the history of the document and its former states as a file stored and loaded by whatever software with whatever filters in whatever formats.


Just inspected the content.xml out of the above mentioned example. The problematic fields were fragmented in a ridiculous way. Don't think that can be the result of a curriculum vitae under the rule of odf.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2014-10-17 00:18:51 +0100 )edit
cement_head gravatar imagecement_head ( 2016-02-24 20:04:58 +0100 )edit

Got here because of also getting the "Write-protected content cannot be changed." message and searching for answers. In my case saved original document as *.doc (97-2003), lost some Form Controls (Radio Buttons, List Box) in the process. Later Saved As *.odt to fix document and re-do the Controls. Check Boxes changed to grey, could not delete them, got above message. Read this post, selected one character before and one after Check Box, then deleted it successfuly! Thanks for the help.

Petr_Libre gravatar imagePetr_Libre ( 2016-06-23 20:51:04 +0100 )edit

16 Answers

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answered 2020-09-22 20:13:14 +0100

updated 2020-09-22 20:17:20 +0100

I found a solution for this problem. This happened to a particular cell while I was editing a table. I could get rid of it changing the size of the cell. I grabbed the top edge of the cell and dragged it down, and then I could edit it again. I don't know if it will work for you, but it did for me. Nothing else did work, except for changing the size of the cell. I hope it works for you too. OBS. This happened between one page and another. I dragged the top edge down until the cell dropped to the next page.

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answered 2019-12-20 05:43:40 +0100

On the mac, you will find "protected form" under menu: LibreOffice -> Preferences -> LibreOffice Writer -> Compatibility uncheck "protected form" and you should be able to work on the document again.

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answered 2018-05-26 02:57:30 +0100

Miguel Moreno gravatar image

updated 2018-05-26 03:00:35 +0100

I also got this problem after importing a Word ".doc" file with some embedded form objects ( check boxes ).

The file opens up just fine in Word, where I can check and uncheck the check boxes and edit the content with no problem.

But after importing and loading it into LibreWriter, the status bar showed "read only" and when trying to edit the contents a message popped up saying "Write-protected content cannot be changed, no modifications will be accepted". Check boxes could still be checked / unchecked, though.

The solution involving sections ( "Format" -> "Sections" ) didn't work, because it was grayed out ( --> no sections ).

Finally, the solution that worked for me was the one about "protected form":

  • Go to "Tools" -> "Options" -> "LibreOffice Writer" -> "Compatibility" -> "Protect form"
  • Make sure the "Protect form" option is unchecked.

Now you can check / uncheck the check boxes and edit / modify the contents of the document.

( Using LibreOffice and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS )

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Thank you - for me it was "Protect form" and "Cursor in Protected Areas"

sdaau gravatar imagesdaau ( 2018-12-27 16:37:08 +0100 )edit

answered 2018-01-23 18:59:13 +0100

updated 2018-01-23 18:59:49 +0100

Got this error message in LO in Ubuntu 17.04. In my case, it also said "read only" in the status bar at the bottom of the screen.

Solution: uncheck the following option Tools / Options / LibreOffice Writer / Compatibility / Protect form

All other solutions failed for me.

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I had the same error in a document converted from Word. This was the only solution that worked for me too.

bartovan gravatar imagebartovan ( 2018-08-12 12:41:20 +0100 )edit

answered 2017-12-04 10:54:26 +0100

quazgar gravatar image

I solved my problem with protected forms by unsetting an option in the Options dialog:

Tools > Options ... > LibreOffice Writer > Compatibility > Remove the tick mark from the " Protect form " line.

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THANK YOU! It really should be listed here:

trevize gravatar imagetrevize ( 2018-07-11 07:10:14 +0100 )edit

After half an hour of searching this is the answer for me!

dewd gravatar imagedewd ( 2020-02-24 17:20:12 +0100 )edit

answered 2017-03-27 16:25:24 +0100

Just in case somebody else comes here looking for a solution, like I have, this worked for me:

I selected the text I wanted to delete (but was getting this error), and Selected Format > Clear Direct Formatting. Then I was able to press the Delete key and this time the selected text was successfully deleted.

In my scenario, I had a footer that said for example, Page 2 of 1 I couldn't delete the 1 to replace with the field PageCount (which it originally was - I don't know how it got wrong, nor how it got locked). It may originally have been a Word document. I do always save my documents as Microsoft Word 2007-2013 XML (.docx)

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answered 2017-02-28 13:25:01 +0100

Fixed in master towards 5.4 in bug 105625.

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answered 2017-01-25 01:24:02 +0100

JohnHa gravatar image

updated 2017-03-27 17:23:29 +0100

Please upload a file showing the problem so that a proper analysis can be done otherwise suggestions will be little better than guessing.

Causes can include

1 The file is still attached to an email and is therefore opened in READ ONLY mode -> click the Edit File icon

2 The file has a READ ONLY attribute -> change the file attribute

3 A Section has been set to Write Protect -> Format > Sections ...

4 You have opened a document twice and LO is preventing you getting yourself into a mess so sets the second instance to READ ONLY

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answered 2016-10-22 02:12:23 +0100

I see that this has been a problem for some time. I have a document that was created in MS Office. It has a table in it. A very simple table. I can open the document in MS Office and fill in the table. I can open the document in OpenOffice and fill in the table. When I open the document in LibreOffice, it claims that the cells cannot be written into and there is no way to change that. I have tried everything I have read here and elsewhere. LibreOffice is treating the table incorrectly and, as a result, this form and others like it cannot be used in LibreOffice. If anybody has a way to fix this (and I am starting to doubt that there is a fix given the back-and-forthing) I would appreciate having somebody tell me what it is. And I will tell you up front that the solutions which center on unprotecting the cells do not work because apparently LibreOffice, while it says the cells cannot be written into, does not have an option to kill the protection. In fact, there is no option presented no matter how much I right click.

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answered 2016-08-11 14:01:27 +0100

This is what worked for me (tried the "clip from one char before..." suggestion above but that just refused me as well) :-

  1. Re-SAVE the document from Libreoffice in the "OPENOFFICE DOCX" format (the one right down at the bottom of the format selector - NOT Windows DOCX) ;

  2. The close and Open the resulting document anew: the locked section is now unlocked.

Small disruption to some centring but nothing problematic.

Good luck all

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Asked: 2014-08-06 10:59:22 +0100

Seen: 63,606 times

Last updated: Sep 22 '20