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Protecting Worksheets and Workbooks in Excel
Part one of a three-part series of blogs
If you've ever been annoyed by somebody else changing parts of your Excel workbooks it's a good idea to learn about protection to prevent them from doing it again!
Whenever you give an Excel workbook to somebody else to use you run the risk of them changing things that you didn't intend for them to change. Protecting worksheets and workbooks helps you to control what other people can do to your precious workbooks!
You can watch a video version of this tutorial if you prefer, and you can download the file used to demonstrate the techniques if you'd like to follow along - or have a look at our Excel training courses.
To demonstrate protection of an Excel workbook we'll use a simple business model for a chocolate shop. There are three main things that we want to do to this file:
If you want to prevent changes to any of the contents of a particular worksheet you can simply protect the entire sheet. To do this:
We don't want anything on the Calculations sheet to be changed.
Use this dialog box to specify what people can do to the worksheet once it has been protected.
Type in your password again and click OK.
Worksheet passwords in Excel use a technique called hashing. The method used in Excel isn't a particularly robust form of security, so beware of relying on worksheet protection to protect sensitive data.
It's very easy to test if you've protected a worksheet: simply try typing into one of the cells.
The message tells you that you can't modify this sheet until it has been unprotected.
You can unprotect a worksheet using almost the same method that you used to protect it.
Enter the password and click OK to unprotect the sheet.
Protecting an entire worksheet is easy enough, but what if you want people to be able to change some of the cells in a sheet? The answer lies in the next part of this series!
|Parts of this blog|
Some other pages relevant to the above blogs include:
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