We have a unique requirement where customer wants their authors to browse the publishing site as-if they are read-only users. Additional Notes:

  1. We do NOT have separate STAGING and PRODUCTION farms. It should happen in the same farm and same site collection.
  2. Authors do NOT want to use a separate account to browse the site. They want to switch the mode (reader-author) dynamically

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2 Answers 2


One thing is for sure, as Erica said, there is not OOTB way of handling it.

I have an alternative solution but not sure if it will scale to your situation.

We can develop a HttpModule to keep track of request from each user and read their choice flag (whether they want to be an author or reader) from the User Profiles properties. Depending on the flag value in profile properties users can switch the mode (reader-author) dynamically via help from SP Groups.

How to set/save the flag value? We can provide a Custom actions in the SharePoint Ribbon, to set the flag value (Reader/Author) in User Profile properties


This is not possible using only out of the box SharePoint technology. You will need to create a custom solution in order to have the functionality you described. Are you asking how you might go about coding this solution?

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