Microsoft Excel Workbook Security - Microsoft Excel

What is Workbook Security in Excel 2010?

The concept of protection available in the Review Tab of ribbon is used to apply the security to the workbook. The protected related features fall into three catagories.

  • Worksheet protection : Protecting a worksheet from being modified, or restricting the modifications to certain users.
  • Workbook protection : Protecting a workbook from having sheets inserted or deleted, and also requiring the use of password to open the workbook.

Protect Worksheet

  • A worksheet can be protected for a variety of reasons.
  • To prevent yourself or others from accidentally deleting the formulas or other critical data.
  • A common scenario is to protect a worksheet, so that the data can be changed, but the formulas can’t be changed.

Choose Review » Changes group » Protect Sheet to protect the worksheet.The Protect Sheet dialog box is displayed
Providing a password is optional but once a password is entered, then that password will be required to unprotect the worksheet.
Various options can be selected in which the sheet should be protected. Format Cells option is checked then Excel will not allow to format cells.

protect sheet

When somebody tries to format the cells, an error is generated as shown in the screenshot below.

protected sheet

To unprotect a protected sheet, choose Review » Changes group » Unprotect Sheet.
A prompt box appears to enter that password, if the sheet is protected with a password.

Protecting a Workbook

Three ways are provided to protect a workbook.

  • Requires a password to open the workbook.
  • Prevents the users from adding sheets, deleting sheets, hiding sheets, and unhiding sheets.
  • Prevents users from changing the size or position of windows.

Requiring a Password to Open a Workbook

A workbook can be saved with a password. If any one tries to open the workbook, enter the password.
To add a password to a workbook, the bellow steps need to be followed.

  • Choose File » Info » Protect Workbook » Encrypt With Password. Excel displays the Encrypt Document dialog box.
  • Type a password and click OK.
  • Type the password again and click OK.
  • Save the workbook.

encrypt with pass

To remove a password from a workbook, the same procedure is repeated Delete the existing password symbols in step 2.

Protecting Workbook’s Structure and Windows

To prevent others from performing certain actions in a workbook, protect the workbook’s structure and windows.
When a workbook’s structure and windows are protected, the user may not Add a sheet, Delete a sheet, Hide a sheet, unhide a sheet, etc., and may not be allowed to change the size or position of a workbook’s windows respectively.

To protect a worksheet’s structure and windows, follow the below mentioned steps.

  • Choose Review » Changes group » Protect Workbook to display the Protect Workbook dialog box.
  • In the Protect Workbook dialog box, select the Structure check box and Windows check box.
  • (Optional) Enter a password.
  • Click OK.

protect workbook


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