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Protect a worksheet in Mac

To prevent other users from accidentally or deliberately changing, moving, or deleting data in a worksheet, you can lock the cells on your Excel worksheet and then protect the sheet with a password. Say you own the team status report worksheet, where you want team members to add data in specific cells only and not be able to modify anything else. With worksheet protection, you can make only certain parts of the sheet editable and users will not be able to modify data in any other region in the sheet.

Caution: Passwords in Excel for Mac have a 15-character limit. You cannot open a workbook or document that has been password protected in the Windows-based version of Excel or Word if the password is longer than fifteen characters. If you want to open the file in Office for Mac, ask the Windows-based author to adjust the password length. Sheet and workbook element protection should not be confused with workbook-level password security. Element protection cannot protect a workbook from users who have malicious intent. For an additional layer of security, you should help protect your whole workbook file by using a password.

When you unprotect a worksheet, you can unlock graphics, objects, ranges, and formulas. See below for more information.

To

Do this

Unlock any cells that you want users to be able to change

Select each cell or range. On the Format menu, click Cells, click the Protection tab, and then clear the Locked check box.

Unlock any graphic that you want users to be able to change

Select the graphic, and then on the Format menu, click the command for the type of graphic that you want to unlock: Shape, Text, or Picture. In the navigation pane, click Properties, and then clear the Locked check box.

Unlock any object or control that you want users to be able to change

Select the object or control, and then on the Format menu, click Format Object or Control. Click the Protection tab, and then clear the Locked check box. Clear the Lock text check box if it is present.

Hide any formulas that you don't want to be visible to users

Select the cells that contain the formulas. On the Format menu, click Cells, click the Protection tab, and then select the Hidden check box.

Help us improve Excel

Do you have suggestions about how we can improve the next version of Excel? If so, please check out the topics at Excel User Voice.

See Also

Protect a workbook

Restrict permission to content in a file

Restricting changes by using read-only status

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