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I'm using SharePoint 2013 foundation, In my Visual WP, theres a SPGridView showing sharepoint documents in the document library with a few customizations.

There is a link to read the document.

When clicked on the link, the documents should be loaded in read only mode(non-editable) regardless of sharepoint user permissions. Document types in the Documents library are microsoft docs, PDF, txt, etc...

How would be the best approach to do this? (like having a separate Application page)

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You can create your own permission levels which do not allow the document to be opened up from SharePoint. This will force them to have to open it outside, or download the record. If you set your permissions so people cannot delete items, the worst thing that can happen is they can save it back to the list item, but it will not overwrite the original file.

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