How can I lock down Microsoft Word to protect our branding?

I re-branded our organization a couple years ago and created what I thought were very “easy to use” Word templates for things like letterhead, forms, and long documents. As well intentioned as my co-workers may be, they’re not very Word savvy and/or think they are creative geniuses and usually end up destroying the very brand and style guide I worked so hard to create. I’ve tried locking down Word but it’s pretty quirky and caused too much of a headache for people to turn Show/Hide on or learn how Word styles work. I’ve also tried proactively training people on how to use Word the “right” way but its just not working out. In a perfect world I would have all documents come through my office where I could ensure their design before going to the public, but that’s just not possible here.

Can anyone suggest the best way to go about protecting our brand and still allowing co-workers to author their own documents? Different software, workflow, anything???


It’s a policy issue, not a technology one.

You should have a brand identity style guide document of some sorts that shows the appropriate use of the visual elements and what to do and not to do with them.

Templates can be provided as a courtesy–but it has to be a policy: “All distributed materials must adhere to the Style Guide. All marketing materials should be reviewd by [insert your name or department] prior to sign off for production and distribution.”

Source : Link , Question Author : Andy Shaffer , Answer Author : DA01

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