Protect your Excel investment

You spend months to develop a financial model on Excel and it finally worked.  You passed it to your users.  But a few weeks later, your users called you and complained the model not longer worked.  Of course, they said they didn’t change anything.  You took a few days to investigate and discovered someone changed a formula.  The rest is history!

Excel provides tools to protect your Excel worksheet from accidental modification but at the same time; it allows your users to enter data or any other specific action that you grant them permission.

I have an Excel worksheet that has a lot of formula and I don’t know my users to change them.  They should only enter data in cells E1..E3.  Here is how we can protect our worksheet.

  • Highlight the cells E1..E3
  • Click Format on the Home tab, and click Lock Cell.


  • Click the Review tab and then click Protect Sheet.


  • Protect Sheet dialogue would be displayed, click the OK button.


  • Now, if we tried to enter the value in the worksheet, I would get an error message.


  • Except E1..E3, we can still change value in these cells.


We can lock the worksheet with password so no one can unlock it without the password.  There are other Excel features that can protect your investment on Excel.  Please stay tuned for more advance features.

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

About Andrew Chan
Andrew Chan is an Business Consultant who gives you accurate, consistent and timely information so that you can make better and faster decisions. He is an Associate of Society of Actuaries with over 20 years of IT experience. Apart from strong analytical skills and proven technical background, he was also a former system director at Manulife who had extensive project management experience. If you are looking for someone to gather, consolidate, validate, visualize and analyze data, look no further! Andrew can provide the most cost effective business analytics solution so that you can explore, optimize, predict and visualize your business. Don’t guess on any decision, no matter it is finance, operation, marketing or sales! Always ask for evidence!

3 Responses to Protect your Excel investment

  1. GaryFPatton says:

    You do a better job explaining & marketing MS products than does Microsoft. That’s why I fired all of the latter in favour of Linux Ubuntu & the Open Office Suite!

    We done, my colleague!!

    Gary in Toronto

  2. Andrew Chan says:

    Both MS Office and Open Office have great features; but unfortunately, most users didn’t have the appropriate training to fully utilize them, The productivity gain can be a few hundred %!

  3. Pingback: Protect Excel VBA Projects « Better and Faster Decisions

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