Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Protect Your Cells From Unwanted Intruders—Even Yourself
Note the dialog box records the workbook name as well as the sheet in which our watched cell is
positioned; that tells you that if you have more than one workbook open at the same time, you can
watch cells in any and all of them. The Name column, currently blank, is reserved for any range name
you may have assigned a range you’re watching (See Appendix XX). More obviously, the cell address
and current value in the cell is recorded, along with the formula the cell is housing. Remember that
we’ve clicked on Sheet2; so type 93 in cell A2, the cell on this sheet that is contributing to our formula.
The Watch Window experiences a change in its Value column to 164—reflecting the new total in the
formula in E17 on Sheet1—which we can’t actually see right now. That’s the point; the Watch Window
keeps us posted of changes in the values of cells that, at the moment, aren’t visually available to us. To
turn off the Watch Window, just click the standard X in the window’s upper-right corner. The Watch
Window isn‘t remembered by the saved workbook. It has to be reconstructed if you want to use it again
with a r eopened workbook.
Protect Your Cells From Unwanted Intruders—Even Yourself
You’ll recall that we earlier described how you can hide worksheets from view—an option that surely
has its advantages, because the data on that reclusive sheet are gone but not forgotten. You can still
refer to the data in formulas and the like, even as the sheet stays out of harm’s way. But there’s an
obvious downside here: the sheet is…hidden, and while you may enjoy the security that worksheet
invisibility affords, you may want to have your cake and eat it too—you may want to be able to view
your worksheet data even as you fend off the errant mouse clicks that could obliterate your
finelytuned, guru-worthy formulas. Protecting your worksheets—either all or in part, by protecting just some
of its cells—is the way to achieve those ends, and the how-tos are pretty simple and reasonably secure,
if just a mite quirky.
When you protect a worksheet you can continue to see the sheet and its data, but once the
protection is in force you won’t be able to enter any additional data in its cells. You will , howe v e r , be
able to view the underlying formulas in cells, and you will be able to copy the data you see in protected
sheets. At least, that’s how the default protection settings work. You can, however, also opt to hide
formulas in their cells via protection. And in addition to protecting individual worksheets you can
protect workbooks in their entirety (with different consequences, as we’ll see), or protect just selected
cells in a worksheet instead.
Protecting a Sheet
To protect a sheet, click in any cell, then you can either click:
Home tab Format button (in the Cells button group) Protection Protect Sheet… or
Review tab Protect Sheet in the Changes button group. Either way, you’ll see (Figure 7—16):
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