Locking Certain Cells or Ranges in a Protected Worksheet

By default, the Locked setting is turned on for every cell in a Microsoft Excel worksheet. This can be confusing because the locked setting doesn’t actually do anything until you apply the Protect Sheet command. That’s why it is often better to uncheck the Locked box for everything before choosing the specific cells you want to lock.

If the worksheet is protected, do the following:

1. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click Unprotect Sheet. If prompted, type the password to unprotect the worksheet.

2. Select the whole worksheet by clicking the Select All button.

3. On the Home tab, in the Font group, click the Format Cell Font dialog box launcher.

4. On the Protection tab, clear the Locked check box, and then click OK. Please note: this unlocks all the cells on the worksheet when you protect the worksheet.

5. In the worksheet, select just the cells that you want to lock.

6. On the Home tab, in the Font group, click the Format Cell Font dialog box launcher.

7. On the Protection tab, select the Locked check box, and then click OK. If you have formulas you want to protect, you can use the Hidden check box in this dialog box to hide the cells with formulas. The results of the formula still show up in the cell, but the formula itself is hidden from prying eyes.

8. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click Protect Sheet.

9. In the Allow all users of this worksheet to list, select the elements that you want users to be able to change.

10. In the Password to unprotect sheet box, type a password for the sheet, click OK, and then retype the password to confirm it.

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