Word insists on asking Open as read-only? when printing read-only files from Windows Explorer

If a document has been saved with the Recommend open read-only option, and the user selects Print from the right-click menu in Windows Explorer, the dialog box asking whether to open the file read-only still appears.

Article contributed by Tom Oliver of Microsoft Word Support

You can workaround it with a bit of a hack. The print code is actually calling old WordBasic code using DDE. You can add a parameter to the command to simply force all the documents you print opened as read only and it prevents the prompt. Since we just open and close the documents, opening them as readonly shouldn't cause any problems. You can add the parameter as follows:

  1. Launch Windows Explorer.
  2. Choose Folder Options from the View menu.
  3. Select the File Types tab, scroll down to Microsoft Word Document, choose the Edit button, and double click on Print.
  4. Change the DDE Message to:

[REM _DDE_Minimize][FileOpen("%1",,1)][t=IsDocumentDirty()][FilePrint 0][SetDocumentDirty t][DocClose]

Note, you're really just changing the FileOpen code from [FileOpen("%1") to

  1. Change DDE Application NOT Running to:

[FileOpen("%1",,1)][FilePrint 0][FileExit 2]

Note: same change.

  1. OK, and Close all the way out.

For the WordBasic people who are interested we're basically doing the following:

FileOpen "doc name", default for confirm conversions, open read only.