Password protect an Excel spreadsheet

Password protecting an Excel spreadsheet

To password protect parts of a spreadsheet, first you need to ‘tell’ Excel which parts of the spreadsheet should be locked.

Locking parts of a spreadsheet – step 1: apply locking format to cells

Locking gets applied as a cell format. Select the whole spreadsheet (click on the top left hand corner between “A” and “1”, or press “Ctrl” “A” as a shortcut). On the “Home” tab, go to “Cells”, “Format” and “Lock cells”. Unlock the whole sheet. Next select the cells you actually want locked and repeat the process (“Home”, “Cells”, “Format” etc). As a result, some of the cells in your spreadsheet will now have a locking format applied.

Step 2: password protect the sheet

The next step is to password protect the sheet. As a result, users will only be able to enter values into cells that are not locked. To password protect the sheet, go “Home”, “Cells”, “Format”, “Protect Sheet” and follow the prompts to create a password.

Password protect a whole spreadsheet

To protect a whole spreadsheet, just skip step 1 above, and go straight to step 2.

Password protect a whole workbook

To protect a whole workbook, on the “Review” tab, select “Changes” and “Protect workbook”. Follow the prompts to create a password.

Coming up in the Excel financial modelling course extract

In the next lesson we look at using the Round function to reduce apparent spreadsheet errors in an Excel financial model.

About this online financial modelling course material

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