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Excel 2003: Protect Workbooks, Worksheets & Cells

Excel 2003: Protect Workbooks, Worksheets & Cells

You may not have realized this, but, all cells in a worksheet are already protected. All cells are formatted to “locked,” by default. But, that protection really doesn’t do anything until you assign a password. This means that just by setting a password, you can lock down the entire worksheet or workbook.

Protecting Workbooks

When protecting workbooks, you need to understand the difference between the workbook structure and the workbook window.

Protecting the Workbook Structure disables a user’s ability to:

     
  • Insert New Worksheets
     
  •  
  • Move Worksheets
     
  •  
  • Copy Worksheets
     
  •  
  • Delete Worksheets
     
  •  
  • Hide Worksheets
     
  •  
  • Rename Worksheets
     
  •  
  • View Hidden Worksheets
     

Protecting the Workbook Windows disables a user’s ability to:

     
  • Change the size the workbook window
     
  •  
  • Move the workbook window
     
  •  
  • Change the position of the workbook window
     
  •  
  • Close the workbook window
     


Protecting a Workbook

     
  1. Choose Tools: Protection: Protect Workbook…
     

Figure 4. Protect Workbook Dialog Box

   2.      Select Structure, Windows or both

   3.      Add a password, if desired

   4.      Click OK

Unprotecting a Workbook

     
  1. Choose Tools: Protection: Unprotect Workbook…
  2.  
  3. Enter your password (if one was originally assigned)
  4.  
  5. Click OK
Protecting Worksheets

Entire worksheets can be protected with just one click of your mouse. And, protecting your worksheet is what prevents other users from modifying your worksheet data. As an added benefit, you can assign passwords to your individual worksheets, much you can when protecting entire workbooks.

Protecting a Worksheet

     
  1. Choose Tools: Protection: Protect Sheet…

Figure 5. Protect Sheet Dialog Box

     
  1. Add a password, if desired
  2.  
  3. Select the options you want to enable
  4.  
  5. Click OK

Unprotecting a Worksheet

     
  1. Choose Tools: Protection: Unprotect Sheet…
  2.  
  3. Enter your password (if one was originally assigned)
  4.  
  5. Click OK
Protecting Cells

Remember, all of the cells in a worksheet are protected, or locked by default. However, you may occasionally need to protect most of the worksheet but need some cells to be editable by you and other users. In this case, you’ll need to actually “unlock” the cells you want to remain editable, and then perform the Protect Worksheet command.

Unlocking Cells and Protecting the Worksheet

     
  1. Select the cells you want to be able to edit
  2.  
  3. Choose Format: Cells from the Menu bar
  4.  
  5. Click the Protection tab

Figure 6. Protection Tab in Format Cells Dialog Box

   4.      Uncheck Locked

   5.      Click OK

   6.      Choose Tools: Protection: Protect Sheet…

   7.      Add a password, if desired

   8.      Select the options you want to enable

   9.      Click OK

Remember, none of the techniques listed in Lesson 1.3 are intended to prevent any user from viewing workbook data. For that level of protection, please watch Lesson 1.4: Workbook Security.