Chapter 17. Sharing Your Work with the Outside World

In This Chapter

  • Controlling access to your dashboards and reports

  • Displaying your Excel dashboards in PowerPoint

  • Saving your dashboards and reports to a PDF file

The focus of this chapter is preparing your dashboard for life outside your PC. Here, we discuss the various methods of protecting your work from accidental and purposeful meddling and discover how you can distribute your dashboards via PowerPoint and PDF files.

Securing Your Dashboards and Reports

Before distributing any Excel-based work, you should always consider protecting your file by using the security capabilities native to Excel. Although none of Excel's protection methods are hacker-proof, they do serve to protect the formulas, data structures, and other objects that make your dashboard tick.

Securing access to the entire workbook

Perhaps the best way to protect your Excel file is to use Excel's file sharing protection options. These options enable you to apply security at the workbook level, requiring a password to view or make changes to the file. This method is by far the easiest to apply and manage since there's no need to protect each worksheet one at a time. You can apply a blanket protection to guard against unauthorized access and edits. Take a moment to review the file sharing options, which are as follows:

  • Forcing read-only access to a file until a password is given

  • Requiring a password to open an Excel file

  • Removing workbook-level protection

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