I have a document library that stores Word and Excel files that are used by several people in our company. They access them from a link list. The documents are fillable forms so I have set the permission level to Contribute so they can fill the forms out. The problem is that I don't want them to save back to the SharePoint copy. I want it to always be blank when the next person opens it. I want to force them to "Save As" to their personal folder if they need to Save their copy. Is this possible?

  • 1
    give them read only access, so when ever they access it and trying to save it will ask for location as they have read only access then will save on local
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Sep 2, 2014 at 16:55

3 Answers 3


Change the general permissions from 'contribute' to 'read' on your list, then everyone should be able to open the documents, but not write back to the server. They don't need to contribute to open the form, just to write back to the server (which seems to be what you don't want them to do!)

  • I tried that, but then they couldn't fill the form in, they could only view it. Sep 2, 2014 at 16:59
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    Yeah they'll have to save a local copy before they can edit it, which is what you described originally as the desired behavior :) -- If you want to avoid not being able to fill it out right away, you might be able to somehow disable saving on the document and create a special button that would force a save as from the form documents but this would be quite a bit of work...
    – John-M
    Sep 2, 2014 at 17:09

Use content types with document/excel template. You can see how to create a content type with a document template at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9175300/excel-template-in-sharepoint-how-to-open-as-a-new-file-from-template.

The steps are straightforward: a) create a new content type, derived from document content type and add the document template b) Add the new content type to the list and disable any other content types.


In that way, document templates won't be changed by the users and you can always update them!

  • Please add details from the link to your answer. If the link breaks your answer is not as useful as it has potential to be :) of course leave the link as a source of the content you do copy Sep 3, 2014 at 17:47
  • Comments and suggestions are always welcomed.
    – XristosK
    Sep 3, 2014 at 19:14

Save the file in downloadable format ( Url) , that will allow the user only download the file when they click on it .

Steps :

Create a folder "Source" Move the file to "Source Folder" Copy the link of the file ( Not the folder) get back to the original destination where file was before moving to source. Click on new (click on link Option under new) there will be popup to paste link , Paste the link copied. To the link at the end add the code as &=Download without space. Save, Your Downloadable format should be ready.

Whenever you want to make any changes in the file , you should be doing in the source file . Do not download , open excel on web and make changes.

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