Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Unlocking Cells
Then click Locked off and OK. Just remember the sequence of events: We want to be able to
enter data in only certain cells on a worksheet, and at the same time protect the rest of the sheet.
Start the process by selecting those cells that will remain available to data entry, and then call up
the dialog box you see above and uncheck Locked. Then—and only then—can you go ahead and turn
Protection on. That will do the job—and as a result, you’ll be able to carry out normal data entry in
the unlocked cells. If you attempt to type anything in a protected cell, though, you’ll encounter this
error message (Figure 7–19):
Figure 7–19. Locked out of a cell without a key—the protection error message
Unlocking Cells
The prompt in Figure 7–19 informs you of one—but only one—way of returning the entire worksheet
back to normal data entry status, or its unprotected state: Review tab Unprotect Sheet , in the Changes
button group (another lovely Excel “un” verb). There’s an alternative route—namely, Home tab
Format in the Cells button group Unprotect Sheet .
The whole process is curiously backwards, but it’s always worked this way: select the cells in which
you’ll want to able to enter data, uncheck Locked in the Protection tab of the Format Cells dialog box,
and then protect the worksheet. And once a cell is unlocked and you go on to protect the sheet, you
ca n ’ t cl i ck the Lock Cell option (see below in figure 7–15) to lock that cell back along with the rest of the
There is, however, another command out there—an alternative way to unlock cells before you
protect a sheet—that may rank among Excel’s most puzzling. If we return to the Cells For mat dr
opdown menu, you’ll see another Lock Cell option (Figure 7–20):
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