How to Protect a Range, Sheet, and Workbook in Microsoft Excel

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Microsoft Excel offers spreadsheet creators several security options. You can select a range of sections to lock for editing, an entire sheet, or even an entire workbook to preserve its structure. Each of these methods will be relevant in different situations, so I suggest to dwell on each one so that you can choose the right one for yourself and implement protection at any time.

Range protection in Microsoft Excel

If protection is enabled in Excel, by default it will apply to the entire range of cells. You can manually specify which ranges should be stripped of this protection as long as they are editable by all users who have access to the file. To do this, you need to perform a few simple steps.

  1. First, open the table in which you are going to change. Then go to the tab “Reviewing” and expand the menu “Protection”.Opening a menu for setting a password on a spreadsheet range in Microsoft Excel

  2. In it, select an option “Allow changing ranges”.Calling a window with a setting for setting a password on a range of a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel

  3. A new window will appear, where you are interested in the button “Create”.Go to select cells to set a password on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet range

  4. After clicking on it, you will need to select cells for the range that will be included in the protection.Selecting cells to set a password on a spreadsheet range in Microsoft Excel

  5. If a password is set for it, you need to confirm it again. Remember this password or write it down somewhere, because it is impossible to reset it without first entering it.Confirm input to set a password on a spreadsheet range in Microsoft Excel

You can also choose an unlimited number of ranges for protection, setting your own password for each of them. Some areas can be left free for editing. This approach is optimal in those situations when the table will be used by other users for their needs, but they should not make critical changes that could disrupt the entire calculation process.

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Protecting a sheet in Microsoft Excel

In some cases, the protection does not end with just ranges, as the entire sheet needs to be protected from changes. Then you will need to activate another function with setting a password, which has many additional options. These options can come in handy when working together on a spreadsheet.

  1. First, call up the setup menu through the section “Protection” on the same tab “Reviewing”. You need to press the button “Protect letter”.Call the menu for setting a password on a spreadsheet sheet in Microsoft Excel

  2. In the new window, I recommend that you immediately specify the password by entering it in the appropriate field. I will repeat once again that it must be memorized or written down. Both the keyboard layout and the case of characters are taken into account.Entering the key into the field to set a password on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet sheet

  3. Below you will find a whole list with additional protection options. If there are ticks next to the items, permission is set for them. You can prevent users from selecting locked cells, formatting them, deleting, inserting columns and rows. All this is carried out exclusively at one’s own advantage.Selecting additional options for setting a password on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet sheet

  4. Before saving the changes, Excel will ask you to enter a password so that you remember it exactly. From now on, the letter will be protected.Key confirmation for setting a password on a spreadsheet sheet in Microsoft Excel

  5. If the user tries to edit it or perform another prohibited action, a message will appear that this is not possible, and the removal of protection is available only after making changes to the settings.Information after setting a password on a spreadsheet sheet in Microsoft Excel

This option to block unnecessary editing is very good in cases where other users have shared access to the sheet, but need to view its contents, not edit it. However, the level of permissions depends solely on which additional options you activate during setup.

Workbook protection in Microsoft Excel

The disadvantage of the previous protection method is that each sheet would have to be configured separately if you want to lock them all from editing. However, Excel also supports setting a password for the entire workbook to save its structure or all ranges, if needed.

  1. In the same menu “Protection” select an item “Protect the book”.Call the menu for setting a password on a spreadsheet workbook in Microsoft Excel

  2. In the window, enter the password and decide whether you want to protect the structure or the windows. Confirm your action by clicking on “OK”.Entering a key to set a password on a spreadsheet workbook in Microsoft Excel

  3. As in the past, you will have to confirm the password you entered to make sure it was entered correctly.Apply changes to set a password on a spreadsheet workbook in Microsoft Excel

Once you’ve done this, you don’t have to worry about someone sharing the document making unauthorized changes. Accordingly, if you need to give someone such a right, just tell them the password, which is used to remove the block.

Read also

How to make a list inside a cell in Microsoft Excel

How to add notes in Microsoft Excel

Excel file protection

There is a completely different type of spreadsheet protection, which involves setting a password on the entire file, meaning that without first entering the key, it cannot even be opened for viewing. Such protection is enabled when saving a document or through other services. This topic is discussed in more detail in my other article: How to put a password on an Excel file.

Change settings on save to set a password on a spreadsheet file in Microsoft Excel

That was all the information about data protection in Microsoft Excel that I wanted to share in the article. Use the instructions at your discretion if you want to secure spreadsheets when shared.

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