Chapter 30: Protecting Your Work

In This Chapter

Protecting worksheets

Protecting workbooks

Protecting Visual Basic Projects

Creating PDFs and checking documents

The concept of “protection” gets a lot of attention in the Excel forums. It seems that many users want to learn how to protect various workbook elements from being overwritten or copied. Excel has several protection-related features, and those features are covered in this chapter.

Types of Protection

Excel's protection-related features fall into three categories:

Worksheet protection: Protecting a worksheet from being modified or restricting the modifications to certain users

Workbook protection: Protecting a workbook from having sheets inserted or deleted, and requiring the use of a password to open the workbook

Visual Basic (VB) protection: Using a password to prevent others from viewing or modifying your VBA code


Before I discuss these features, you should understand the notion of security. Using a password to protect some aspect of your work doesn't guarantee that it's secure. Password-cracking utilities (and some simple tricks) have been around for a long time. Using passwords work in the vast majority of cases, but if someone is truly intent on getting to your data, he can usually find a way. If absolute security is critical, perhaps Excel isn't the proper tool.

Get Excel 2013 Bible now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.