Excel > Excel 2003 Intermediate > Excel Protection

Worksheet Protection

An Excel worksheet can be protected against accidental or deliberate corruption.

It is possible to protect specific cells on the worksheet, such as those containing formulas.

Worksheet protection can also be used to prevent users being able to unhide rows and columns, format cells and filter data.

Before protecting a worksheet, any cells to remain unprotected for editing should be unlocked.

Lock and unlock cells

  1. Select the cells you want to unlock
  2. Click Format > Cells
  3. The Format cells dialogue box is displayed

  4. Click the Protection tab
  5. The Locked checkbox is ticked by default. Click to uncheck the box and unlock the selected cells
  6. Unlock cells

  7. Click Ok

Apply worksheet protection

  1. Click Tools > Protection > Protect Sheet
  2. The Protect Sheet dialogue box is displayed

    Protect sheet
  3. Enter a password to protect the sheet with
  4. From the Allow all users of this worksheet to box, select all the options that you want users to still be able to do after the sheet is protected
  5. Click Ok
  6. Re-enter the password when prompted
  7. Click Ok

The worksheet is protected. Actions such as unhiding rows and columns and formatting cells will appear ghosted meaning they are inoperable.

Unprotect a worksheet

To make any changes to protected cells, the worksheet needs to be unprotected.

  1. Click Tools > Protection > Unprotect Sheet
  2. Unprotect sheet

  3. Enter the password
  4. Click Ok

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