Password protect worksheet or workbook elements

To prevent anyone from accidentally or deliberately changing, moving, or deleting important data, you can protect certain worksheet (worksheet: The primary document that you use in Excel to store and work with data. Also called a spreadsheet. A worksheet consists of cells that are organized into columns and rows; a worksheet is always stored in a workbook.) or workbook elements, with or without a password (password: A way to restrict access to a workbook, worksheet, or part of a worksheet. Excel passwords can be up to 255 letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols. You must type uppercase and lowercase letters correctly when you set and enter passwords.).

 Important   Worksheet or workbook element protection should not be confused with file security. It is not meant to make your workbook more secure, and cannot protect it from users who have malicious intent.

Worksheet elements

ShowProtect worksheet elements from all users

  1. Switch to the worksheet you want to protect.
  2. Unlock any cells you want users to be able to change: Select each cell or range, click Cells on the Format menu, click the Protection tab, and then clear the Locked check box.
  3. Hide any formulas that you don't want to be visible: Select the cells with the formulas, click Cells on the Format menu, click the Protection tab, and then select the Hidden check box.
  4. Unlock any graphic objects you want users to be able to change.

ShowHow?

You don't need to unlock buttons or controls for users to be able to click and use them. You can unlock embedded charts, text boxes, and other objects created with the drawing tools that you want users to be able to modify. To see which elements on a worksheet are graphic objects, click Go To on the Edit menu, click Special, and then click Objects.

  1. Hold down CTRL and click each object that you want to unlock.
  2. On the Format menu, click the command for the object you selected: AutoShape, Object, Text Box, Picture, Control, or WordArt.
  3. Click the Protection tab.
  4. Clear the Locked check box, and if present, clear the Lock text check box.
  1. On the Tools menu, point to Protection, and then click Protect Sheet.
  2. Type a password for the sheet.

 Note   The password is optional; however, if you don't supply a password, any user will be able to unprotect the sheet and change the protected elements. Make sure you choose a password you can remember, because if you lose the password, you cannot gain access to the protected elements on the worksheet.

  1. In the Allow all users of this worksheet to list, select the elements that you want users to be able to change.
  2. Click OK. If prompted, retype the password.

ShowGive specific users access to protected ranges

In order to give specific users access to ranges, your computer must be running Windows 2000 or later and it must be on a domain.

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Protection, and then click Allow Users to Edit Ranges. (This command is available only when the worksheet is not protected.)
  2. Click New.
  3. In the Title box, type a title for the range you're granting access to.
  4. In the Refers to cells box, type an equal sign (=), and then type a reference or select the range.
  5. In the Range password box, type a password to access the range.

The password is optional; if you don't supply a password, any user will be able to edit the cells.

  1. Click Permissions, and then click Add.
  2. Locate and select the users to whom you want to grant access. If you want to select multiple users, hold down CTRL while you click the names.
  3. Click OK twice. If prompted, retype the password.
  4. Repeat the previous steps for each range for which you're granting access.
  5. To retain a separate record of the ranges and users, select the Paste permissions information into a new workbook check box in the Allow Users to Edit Ranges dialog box.
  6. Protect the worksheet: Click Protect Sheet in the Allow Users to Edit Ranges dialog box.
  7. In the Protect Sheet dialog box, make sure the Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells check box is selected, type a password for the worksheet, click OK, and then retype the password to confirm.

 Note   A sheet password is required to prevent other users from being able to edit your designated ranges. Make sure you choose a password you can remember, because if you lose the password, you cannot gain access to the protected elements on the worksheet.

Workbook elements

ShowProtect workbook elements

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Protection, and then click Protect Workbook.
  2. Do one or more of the following:
    • To protect the structure of a workbook so that worksheets in the workbook can't be moved, deleted, hidden, unhidden, or renamed, and new worksheets can't be inserted, select the Structure check box.
    • To protect windows so that they are the same size and position each time the workbook is opened, select the Windows check box.
    • To prevent others from removing workbook protection, type a password, click OK, and then retype the password to confirm it.

ShowProtect elements in a shared workbook

  1. If the workbook is already shared (shared workbook: A workbook set up to allow multiple users on a network to view and make changes at the same time. Each user who saves the workbook sees the changes made by other users.), and you want to assign a password to protect the sharing, unshare the workbook.

ShowHow?

  1. Have all other users save and close the shared workbook. If other users are editing, they will lose any unsaved work.
  2. Unsharing the workbook deletes the change history (change history: In a shared workbook, information that is maintained about changes made in past editing sessions. The information includes the name of the person who made each change, when the change was made, and what data was changed.). If you want to keep a copy of this information, print out the History worksheet (History worksheet: A separate worksheet that lists changes being tracked in a shared workbook, including the name of the person who made the change, when and where it was made, what data was deleted or replaced, and how conflicts were resolved.) or copy it to another workbook.

ShowHow?

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Track Changes, and then click Highlight Changes.
  2. In the When box, click All.
  3. Clear the Who and Where check boxes.
  4. Select the List changes on a new sheet check box, and then click OK.
  5. Do one or more of the following:
    1. To print the History worksheet, click Print Button image.
    2. To copy the history to another workbook, select the cells you want to copy, click Copy Button image, switch to another workbook, click where you want the copy to go, and click Paste Button image.

 Note   You may also want to save or print the current version of the workbook, because this history might not apply to later versions. For example, cell locations, including row numbers, in the copied history may no longer be current.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Share Workbook, and then click the Editing tab.
  2. Make sure that you are the only person listed in the Who has this workbook open now box.
  3. Clear the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time check box.

If this check box is not available, you must unprotect the workbook before clearing the check box.

ShowHow?

  1. Click OK, point to Protection on the Tools menu, and then click Unprotect Shared Workbook.
  2. Enter the password if prompted, and then click OK.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Share Workbook, and then click the Editing tab.
  1. When prompted about the effects on other users, click Yes.
  1. Set other types of protection if you want: Give specific users access to ranges, protect worksheets, protect workbook elements, and set passwords for viewing and editing.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Protection, and then click Protect Shared Workbook or Protect and Share Workbook.
  3. Select the Sharing with track changes check box.
  4. If you want to require other users to supply a password to turn off the change history (change history: In a shared workbook, information that is maintained about changes made in past editing sessions. The information includes the name of the person who made each change, when the change was made, and what data was changed.) or remove the workbook from shared use, type the password in the Password box, and then retype the password when prompted.
  5. If prompted, save the workbook.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003