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Microsoft Excel 2003/2004

Protecting Your Worksheet

Protection of documents and cells can help prevent inadvertent changes to your worksheet. This can be especially helpful if you have someone who is unfamiliar with worksheets or doing your data entry, or if you spent many hours struggling to get the worksheet right.

Excel offers the option of protecting the entire document, individual objects, structure of a window, and/or specific cells. With Excel, you can even add a password to the file. If you want to prevent changes to sheets or cells, you need to lock the cells and then protect the sheet.

return to topProtection Options

When you are protecting your workbook, you have two primary options:

return to topLocking & Unlocking Cells

By default, Excel protects cells, graphics, charts, and other worksheet objects. This protection will only take effect by turning on the Worksheet Protection option in the Protect Sheet dialog box. Therefore, if you enable protection, no changes can be made to a cell until you unlock that cell.

Locking Cells

You can easily lock any cell in a worksheet.

NOTE: Make sure to lock the cells before you protect the sheet or document. Once a sheet or a document has been protected, you cannot access menu selections that allow you to make changes to cells.

  1. Select the cell(s) to be locked

  2. From the Format menu, select Cells...
    The Format Cells dialog box appears.

  3. Select the Protection tab

  4. Select Locked
    There will be a check before it.
    Format Cells dialog box - Protection tab

  5. Click OK

  6. You must now protect the worksheet

Unlocking Cells

In order to unlock cells, sheet protection must first be turned off. For more information, refer to Worksheet Level Protection or Workbook Level Protection.

  1. Unprotect the worksheet

  2. Select the cells you want to unlock

  3. From the Format menu, select Cells...
    The Format Cells dialog box appears.

  4. Select the Protection tab

  5. Deselect Locked
    There will no longer be a check before it.

  6. Click OK
    The cells are unlocked.

return to topWorkbook Level Protection

You can prevent a workbook from having its structure and windows modified or resized by another user.

Protecting the Workbook

  1. From the Tools menu, select Protection » Protect Workbook...
    The Protect Workbook dialog box appears.
    Protect Workbook dialog box

  2. In the Protect Workbook dialog box, select the appropriate option(s):
    Option Description
    Structure Prevents the user from changing the order of the sheets within a workbook. This includes adding or deleting worksheets.
    Windows Prevents the user from being able to resize or move the window.
    Password Allows only those who know the password to turn the workbook protection off.
  1. Click OK
    The workbook is protected.

Unprotecting the Workbook

  1. From the Tools menu, select Protection » Unprotect Workbook…
    The workbook is unprotected. Users can now modify the structure and windows of the workbook.
    NOTE: If you included a password when you turned the protection on, you must enter the password to turn the protection off.

return to topWorksheet Level Protection

You can protect a single worksheet from being modified by another user.

Protecting the Worksheet

Windows:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Protection » Protect Sheet...
    The Protect Sheet dialog box appears.
    Protect Sheet dialog box

  2. In the Protect Sheet dialog box, select the appropriate options:
    Option Description
    Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells Prevents changes to locked cells.
    Password to unprotect sheet Allows only those who know the password to unprotect the worksheet.
    Allow all users of this worksheet to Checked boxes are aspects that any user can access.
  1. Click OK
    The worksheet is protected.

Macintosh:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Protection » Protect Sheet...
    The Protect Sheet dialog box appears.
    Protect Sheet dialog box

  2. In the Protect Sheet dialog box, select the appropriate options:
    Option Description
    Contents Prevents changes to locked cells, columns or rows, chart sheet, and any formulas in the cells
    Objects Prevents changes to graphic objects (e.g., text boxes, an embedded chart).
    Scenarios Prevents changes to scenarios (i.e., any input values you substituted in a worksheet).
    Password Allows only those who know the password to unprotect the worksheet.
  1. Click OK
    The worksheet is protected.

Unprotecting the Worksheet

  1. From the Tools menu, select Protection » Unprotect Sheet…
    The worksheet is unprotected. Users can now modify the worksheet.
    NOTE: If you included a password when you turned the protection on, you must type the password in the Password text box to turn the protection off.

return to topFile Level Protection

You have two options when saving your workbook file with a password. You can save the file so only those who know the password can open or modify the file.

Protecting the File

  1. From the File menu, select Save As...
    The Save As dialog box appears.

  2. Windows: From the Tools pull-down list, select General Options...
    Macintosh: Click OPTIONS...
    The Save Options dialog box appears.
    Save Options dialog box

  3. To prevent unauthorized access to the file, in the Password to open text box, type a password
    To prevent unauthorized changes to the file, in the Password to modify text box, type a password

  4. Click OK
    The Confirm Password dialog box appears.

  5. In the Reenter password to proceed/modify text box, type the password(s) in the order of the password(s) that you typed in the Save Options dialog box
    HINT: If you type apple in the Password to open text box and orange in the Password to modify text box, you must type apple in the first confirmation dialog box and orange in the second confirmation dialog box.

  6. Click OK

  7. Click SAVE

Unprotecting the File

If you no longer need to password-protect the file, you can remove the password.

  1. From the File menu, select Save As…
    The Save As dialog box appears.

  2. Windows: In the Save As dialog box, from the Tools pull-down list, select General Options...
    Macintosh: Click OPTIONS

  3. In the Password to open text box, press [Delete]

  4. In the Password to modify text box, press [Delete]

  5. Click OK
    The file is no longer password protected.

  6. To save the file, click SAVE
    A confirmation dialog box appears.

  7. Windows: Click YES
    Macintosh: Click REPLACE

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