I have the requirement to allow users to view the content of a document library, including browsing through folders, but not actually open the individual files.

There doesn't appear to be a permission to restrict users from opening files, but still display the item.

Naturally it is an option to create a view that doesn't have the 'open link' in it, but that doesn't stop users from manually constructing the URL. Also there are other options in the context menu that I want to be available for the individual documents.

I realise that a similar question has been asked before.

5 Answers 5


I am looking for this solution as well (and I see this is an old post). We must be missing something because you would think this would be a basic need. For InfoPath forms, you could publish the public fields and keep other information privite (inside of the xml file). Let me know if you find anything.

The best solution I have seen so far is to send certain columns to a different list (via workflow) and keep the original documents in the document library with locked down permissions.


I don' think its anything out of the box for your problem. The closest thing you could do is to have the document moved to a different library and linked to the item (could achieve some customization for this using a workflow) then you give the users read only to the lists and no access to the document library. just a thought :)


I think Information Rights Management might allow you to restrict certain groups of users from opening files within a specific document library.

(this link is aimed specifically at SP2010, but may be of info for a possible solution or direction for you) Information Rights Management in SharePoint Foundation


  • Although too complex and not suitable for my situation it deserves an up vote :-) Jul 24, 2010 at 6:48

I solved a similar issue a while back ago by creating a custom Web Part that used RWEP to show the contents of a doc lib.

  • 1
    I was hoping to find a solution that could be achieved by configuring SharePoint, not custom code. Anything is possible using code :-) Jul 20, 2010 at 12:52

Create a new view as follows:

  1. Select all columns you to display except all thos which have link to document.
  2. Add column "Title" to display the title of the document.
  3. Expand Folders section and select "Show all items without folders". This will enable you to display all documents.
  4. Mark this View as Default View.
  • 2
    Thanks, but as I mentioned in the question, this is not the solution I am looking for. Aug 26, 2010 at 20:06

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