Unit 6. Advanced. Cell protection

We are going to study the cell protection available in Excel2003 in order to avoid the modification of cells by accident or when not having permission to do so.


Protecting cells


Besides the protection of cells in workbooks by means of passwords, Excel2003 offers various orders for the protection of the cells in the book. For this we need to perform two operations: the first is to protect the cells that we dont want to be changed, and the second consists of protecting the sheet.

When a cell is locked it can not be changed. Actually, all the cells are protected or locked by defect so that they do not suffer changes, but we do not notice this as the sheet is not protected, and in order to really lock the cells we need to first protect the calculation sheet.

To unblock the cells that we want to change at any moment we follow these next steps:

Select the range of cells that we wish to unlock in order to perform the changes.


Select the Format menu.

Select the Cells... option.

Click on the Protection tab.

The window seen to the right will appear.

Deactivate the Locked box and click on OK.


If we activate the Hidden box which is the alleged formula or value of the cell that cannot be seen in the formula bar.

The operations of the Protection tab do not have effect if we do not protect the calculation, and so we need to perforn the following steps:


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Select the Tools menu.

Select the Protection option.

Select the Protect sheet option.

The Protect sheet dialogue box will appear (seen right):

Leave the Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells box activated to protect the contents of the cells in the active sheet.

Activate the desired options in the Allow all users of this worksheet to: so that the the protection has no effect on the selected modification and deactivate it to keep the protection.

If we want to assign a password so that only the person with the password can unprotect the sheet, write the password in the Password box.

Click on OK.

If we have used a password we will be asked for confirmation of this password, and so we will need to write it again and click on the OK button.

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As from now the active sheet will remain protected, therefore the locked cells can not be modified in principle.

If we wish to unprotect the sheet, we will perform the same operations again as in the protection, that is:

Select the Tool menu, and then select the Protection option.

Select the Unprotect sheet... option.


If we have assigned a password we will be asked for it, and so we will need to write it and clic on OK.


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