How do I lock edits for a document?

Quip's documents are alive because there's only one version, anyone can jump in and contribute at a moment's notice, and you can discuss everything in context and in real-time. There are certain times when you may want to lock a document from being freely edited by your teammates. For instance, you may want to 'publish' wiki docs, limit the edits of onboarding documentation, put a draft on hold while legal reviews it, or preserve a template so it can be easily copied by anyone.

Lock Edits makes it possible to prevent accidental edits. Note, this does not completely prevent other users from editing the document. Instead, it requires the user to intentionally unlock the document by clicking the blue lock icon, which logs their action in the Conversation to the left of the document and notifies the last locker of the document. See below for details.

Lock edits for a document

The following are instructions to lock edits for a document in Quip. The example is a document that outlines the company's benefits and perks – a document you might find in the company wiki or onboarding documentation.

1. Open the "Document" menu

To lock a document or spreadsheet, open the “Document” menu. Then select “Advanced” and then select “Lock Edits”.


2. Confirm that you want to lock edits

Quip will ask you to confirm that you want to lock edits. Click “Lock Edits” to lock edits for the current document.


3. Edits to the current document are now locked

Upon clicking “Lock Edits”, Quip will do three things:

  1. Add an Edits Locked banner to the top left of the document
  2. No one, including you, can edit the current document.
  3. Add an alert in the conversation that you have “locked edits on the document” with a time stamp.

It's important to note that while the document is locked, anyone who has access to the document can still:

  • Add inline comments
  • Add messages in the document conversation
  • Share the document
  • Copy, export, and print the document
  • Change the typography of the document
  • Toggle the outline and conversation on and off
  • Delete the document


Unlock edits for a document

The following steps demonstrate what happens when a user (other than the person who initially locked edits for the document) unlocks edits for a document.

1. Click the banner in the top left of the document

When a document is locked and you hover over the Edits Locked banner, you can see who locked the document.

Click the lock, and you will be prompted to unlock edits.


2. Confirm that you want to unlock edits

Upon clicking the banner, you will be prompted to confirm that you want to unlock edits for the current document. The dialog also informs you that the user who locked the document will be automatically notified that you have unlocked edits for the document.


3. Automatic notification for unlocked edits

Upon clicking “Unlock Edits”, Quip automatically sends an in-app notification and an email to the user who locked edits for the page. This notification ensures that the user who locked the document is informed and can can clarify why the document has been unlocked.


4. Review the activity in the document conversation

Upon reviewing the document conversation, it's easy to see when edits for the document were locked and by whom. It's also easy to see when edits were unlocked and by whom, too.

You can even jump in and ask why the document was unlocked by using an @mention to get that user's attention.


It's easy to come to a resolution and return the document to a locked state, or revert any changes.


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