I am wondering if it is possible to configure document security settings on a Word Online document in a SharePoint Documents List such that a user can make comments to a document, but only read/view the contents of the word doc?

For example, this is what I would ultimately like to see: Screen Cap

I've tried various security settings on the list and document itself, but no matter what I do, the commenting is disabled when the user has view mode, and editing/commenting is enabled when edit rights are granted. Am I just missing something, or is the commenting/review feature tied to edit rights?


  • Aha. This was my exact question. I find it sort of beyond belief that there is a comment option, but that the comment option and the edit option are inextricable linked to each other. It appears this question was asked in 2014. In 2019 is there another answer?
    – Big Jim
    Mar 26, 2019 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


It's not possible since the permission Approve Items comes with a dependency to the following permissions:

  • Edit Items
  • View Items
  • View Pages
  • Open

Source: User permissions and permission levels in SharePoint 2013

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