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Spreadsheet Protection in Excel

Did you know that you can enable protection for your worksheets in Microsoft Excel? You can use this feature to stop others or yourself from making changes or edits to any part of the worksheet, and you can even add a password.

Excel Worksheet Protection

Whenever you enable the protection of an Excel worksheet, you can control what changes can be made to that spreadsheet.

For instance, you can restrict or allow any of the following.

  • Selecting locked cells
  • Selecting unlocked cells
  • Formatting cells, rows, or columns
  • Inserting cells, rows, or columns
  • Deleting cells, rows, or columns
  • Inserting hyperlinks
  • Sorting and filtering
  • Editing objects
  • Using pivot tables

On top of that, you can add a password so that no other person can switch off the protection without your permission.

The Benefits of Worksheet Protection

Now that you know what worksheet protection is, you can understand its many benefits.

Protecting a worksheet can prevent the unwanted deletion or modification of any functions or formulas you may have written. You can also prevent any unwanted alterations to the worksheet structure, and you can ensure that only certain cells are even selectable.

Essentially, you can make your worksheet available for use by others without having to worry that they might accidentally break the spreadsheet.

Adding protection is also a wonderful way to sample different aspects of a workbook to potential buyers. Overall, having the ability to protect your worksheets introduces many benefits to the spreadsheet developer.

How to Protect Your Worksheet

To enable worksheet protection, use the Excel Ribbon. Click on the Review tab, and then click on the Protect Sheet button in the Protect group of commands.

The Protect Sheet dialog box will appear.

You can add a password if desired, but it is not required. Once the settings are adjusted the way you want, you can click on Ok to protect the worksheet.

To disable the worksheet protection, click on the Unprotect Sheet button under the Review tab in the Excel Ribbon.

If you added a password, you will be prompted for that password before you can unprotect the sheet.

If no password was entered, the sheet will immediately become unprotected.

Locking and Unlocking Cells

Whenever you protect a worksheet (depending on your protection settings) all locked cells may not be altered. However, all unlocked cells may be changed or edited.

All cells in the worksheet are locked by default. To unlock a cell or range of cells, select the cells and go to Home > Format > Format Cells in the Excel Ribbon.

In the Format Cells dialog box, click on the Protection tab and then uncheck the box next to where it reads “Locked.”

Once you click Ok, this will unlock the selected cells.

And that’s how to work with and enable worksheet protection in Microsoft Excel.

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