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

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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 4.3.0.4, 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.

( 2014-08-20 20:07:04 +0200 )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

http://en.libreofficeforum.org/node/7289

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.

( 2014-10-16 23:05:51 +0200 )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.

( 2014-10-16 23:55:53 +0200 )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.

( 2014-10-17 00:18:51 +0200 )edit
( 2016-02-24 20:04:58 +0200 )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.

( 2016-06-23 20:51:04 +0200 )edit

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What else should 'Read Only' mean? One must have applied the setting and should have known what he (f/m) does.

If needs arise to cancel protection: There are different containers of text that can be protected (tables by every singel cell; frames - just to name two examples). Thus a refined design of using protection in a document / template is possible. A global switching off of protections will not be available.

I think the documents should be analised with the help of the navigator to identify the containers concerned - and, of course, the templates should be reworked to get documents as intended.

Editing: In a comment above "jerquee" linked in a thread from another forum on LibreOffice. There "jonhayes" had attached an example file to his post. Having studied that a bit with the help of an XML-editor I think the most likely cause of the problem is carelessly pasting content copied from non-odf source and containing incompatible or unsufficiently specified field-types. For better understanding you may refer to "owengs"'s contributions to this thread. The bug in LibreOffice should be to not refuse accepting pasted contents that cannot be thoroughly validated for one or another reason. We experience just another aspect of the "compatibility dilemma" enjoyed to the full by an unfortunately powerful competitor.

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If the document is set as Read Only that is probably because you opened it directly from an email attachment (and therefore it is stored in a Temporary folder, where you don't want it to be). The proper way to edit a document is to Save the attached file to some organized folder you own and then Open the document for Editing.

Another important reminder: NEVER get an x.x.0 version. It will (most probably) have bugs and regressions. You should get the version with the highest 3rd digit (currently 4.2.6)

Example: in the Download page (at the very bottom) you will see

LibreOffice is available in the following released version

4.1.6
4.2.5
4.2.6
4.3.0


You should get either version 4.2.6 or 4.1.6 (older, with less features which you might or not need, but equally bug free)

Recommending any other version to your customers is doing a bad service to them, to the project and especially to yourself (because, as usual, if you recommend anything, any problem in the software is your fault and people expect YOU to fix it :) )

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Have you tried 'Format' > 'Sections' ? Then select the Section (eg. Section1) with 'Write Protection' activated and deactivate it. Now it should be editable...

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BEST answer! Thank you. Tends to happen when one converts old documents (esp if from a different technology e.g. MS Word.

( 2015-08-11 13:21:02 +0200 )edit

In my case, the sections entry in the format menu is grayed out.

( 2015-09-25 13:40:43 +0200 )edit

just ran in to the same problem and this worked, thanks.

( 2017-06-10 18:37:30 +0200 )edit
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Format > Sections is greyed out in my case. What worked for me is this solution: uncheck the following option Tools / Options / LibreOffice Writer / Compatibility / Protect form

( 2018-08-12 12:44:17 +0200 )edit

This is the best answer it works for me thanks "Format > Section > uncheck protect on Write Protection and OK.

( 2020-07-31 04:48:54 +0200 )edit

2020, LibreOffice 6.3.3.2 and bug still exists. and this was the solution I was looking for.

( 2020-09-04 23:51:18 +0200 )edit

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.

( 2020-09-22 20:11:26 +0200 )edit

I found an answer that worked for me here:

1. Select at least one character prior to the field, all the field, and at least one character after the field.
2. Cut this content.
3. Paste it back as unformatted text.
4. Manually remove the “#” before and after the re-pasted content.
5. Manually reformat any character styles that were present in the original field i.e., bold, italic, etc.

The field is lost by doing this, but at least you have the content.

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Got good hint from this answer.. Try repasting the contents in the starting field (or cell as in table). It worked for me. Weird problem, and solution even more weird, :-)

( 2016-08-10 18:17:38 +0200 )edit

Thank you so much.

( 2017-10-26 13:19:46 +0200 )edit

Did not work for me. What worked for me is this solution: uncheck the following option Tools / Options / LibreOffice Writer / Compatibility / Protect form

( 2018-08-12 12:44:33 +0200 )edit

I imported a form from an RTF file, which included a table, which had some part of its cells somehow protected. Saving this as .odt file did not help.

What did help is the following:

• Save to a different format (e. g. MS Word 97/2000/XP/2003 (.doc)), that eventually does not support this protection.
• Close LibreOffice Writer.
• Open the new file (e. g. the .doc file) with LibreOffice Writer and test if the removal of the protection has been successful.
• Save back to a .odt file.
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I imported a DOC file whose content was protected. (And Insert -> Sections, Format -> Sections didn't work, because it was grayed out. Neither did saving without a password and/or in the ODT format.)

What worked was the following:

• Under Tools -> Options -> LibreOffice Writer -> Formatting Aids -> Protected Area activate "Ignore protection".

Notes:

• That will also remove protection from Table of Contents, etc. (if it was created as protected)
• One might want deactivate it again after editing, to prevent unintended edits in future
• I think I had to restart LO on the first activation, but couldn't reproduce it later (doc becomes editable immediately) - your mileage may vary
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Cannot upvote yet, but thank you nevertheless.

( 2016-08-16 11:54:24 +0200 )edit

Thanks For mac option was named "Protect form" and it was under Tools -> Options -> LibreOffice Writer -> Compatibility

( 2017-05-03 10:41:24 +0200 )edit

@Kanape Thanks, it works for me on Linux too

( 2018-01-28 15:49:50 +0200 )edit

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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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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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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Fixed in master towards 5.4 in bug 105625.

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