Outlook/Word 2013 – How to disable Reading View for read-only Word documents

One of the more annoying ‘features’ of Word 2013 is ‘Reading View’ – where any document you open that is read-only displays enlarged and with the majority of formatting completely removed.

This is typically noticed when opening Word documents which have been attached to an email.


The steps below detail how to disable the ‘Reading View’.

  1. With Word 2013 open, select the ‘FILE’ menu then click on ‘Options’ on the left hand menu
  2. MSOutlook2013-DisableReadingView2
  3. Under ‘General’ un-tick the ‘Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view’
  4. MSOutlook2013-DisableReadingView3
  5. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes
  6. Read-only documents will now display in the standard view, complete with all their original formatting.
  7. MSOutlook2013-DisableReadingView4

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8 comments on “Outlook/Word 2013 – How to disable Reading View for read-only Word documents

  1. Thank you so much for this! Another article I read said I had to a copy and paste into another word document (to, in effect, re-create it). I just followed these directions and it works. The first method wasn’t so bad for small documents, but it was a real shore for large documents. Yay!

  2. It sounded like that should work, but it does not for my Word 2013. I have had that start box for opening in read only mode unchecked & I still “randomly” am told I have opened in read only mode & have to rename. My issue is only for my personally created Word docs, not email attachments…

  3. Thank you so much for this! Our IT department was wracking their brains trying to figure why this couldn’t be changed. They finally told us that it was unchangeable and we’d have to live with it.

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