How to Lock Cells in a Microsoft Excel 2007 Document

How can I protect my vital Microsoft Excel 2007 documents?

When you put a lot of effort into preparing a worksheet in Micosoft Excel 2007, the last thing you want is for some colleague or data entry operator to mess up the whole thing by tampering with the contents of cells containing vital data and formulas.

But, you needn’t panic a lot now, for Microsoft Excel 2007 is equipped with a number of advanced protection features that can help you protect your worksheets from any kind of unwanted change or tampering.

Microsoft Excel 2007 provides protection at a number of levels, according to the extent of protection that you need and the level of accessibility that you want to offer to the end user. Depending on your needs, you can protect the document at cell level, workbook level, worksheet level, or file level. In this article series, we will examine all these protection features and show how they can be applied step-by-step.

Protecting the Microsoft Excel 2007 documents at cell level:

At the most fundamental level, you can lock and unlock the cells within your Microsoft Excel 2007 worksheet. Locking cells, graphics, charts, and other data within the cells protects that information from being modified. But, remember that this protection only holds good when you have also protected the worksheet, which must be done only after you have locked the cells. We’ll talk more about protecting worksheets in the article on Worksheet Protection.

For locking the cells, follow these steps:

  • Select all the cells you want to protect.
  • Select the Home command tab from the Ribbon.
  • Click on FORMAT within the cells group.
  • The cells have been locked, once the icon appears to get highlighted.
  • Now protect the worksheet by turning on the Worksheet Protection option in the Protect Sheet dialog box.

To unlock the cells, first of all the worksheet has to be unprotected. You can learn, in detail, how to do this in an another article about Worksheet Protection (Part 2 of this series).

  • Turn the Worksheet Protection off in the Protect Sheet dialog box.
  • Select all the cells that you want to unlock.
  • Select the Home command tab for the Ribbon.
  • Click FORMAT within the cells group.
  • Unselect the Lock option within the Protection selection.
  • The cells have been unlocked now, as the icon is no longer highlighted.

In our next article in this series, we will have a look at how to toggle protection at Worksheet and Workbook level in Microsoft Excel 2007 documents.

This post is part of the series: Protecting and unprotecting Microsoft Excel 2007 documents

It happens many times that you find your valuable Microsoft Excel 2007 documents inadvertently changed because your colleagues messed up with its vital components. You can prevent this from happening by protecting your Microsoft Excel 2007 documents at various levels, and rest at peace.
  1. Password Protect Your Microsoft Excel 2007 Documents: Part 1
  2. Password Protect Your Microsoft Excel 2007 Documents: Part 2
  3. Password Protect Your Microsoft Excel 2007 Documents: Part 3