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Excel/Protecting Formula


Hi Aidan,

I think we have corresponded in the past when you have helped me solve some problems.

We have a spreadsheet that several people use, it is not "mine" so I am not allowed to lock it up or restrict it as it ought to be.

From time to time some of the formulas need to be changed, unfortunately it could be any one of five or six people who change it.  As you can imagine this can (nearly always) causes problems.  People try something that doesn't work, try another thing that did and move on, but there is "never" a record of what has been changed or why, I am guilty of it also, this to me is very very dangerous.

My question is, perhaps using a macro, is there any way, when anyone tries to alter the actual formula, the macro writes (somewhere like a text file or a "changes" sheet) the date, the original formula, the new formula and forces encourages the user to give a reason for the change, ie, Rate Change.

I know it is not ideal but it may ease the problem if there is at least some sort of record, even if it is only the date and a before & after formula.

Thank you for your consideration.


You can possibly use the Track Changes option as a relatively easy solution.  Alternatively, something like the solution at could be used - in that example, it tracks to another sheet, but it could easily be to a text file.

I hope this helps - sorry for the delay in replying.
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Aidan Heritage


I have provided first hand support since `95 for Microsoft Office majoring in Word and Excel - support for all versions from 2 onwards. I'm based in the UK, so please allow for time differences when asking me questions from other parts of the world!


My background is in the insurance industry and call centre areas, but have been called upon to provide many varied solutions.

I'm educated to UK A level standard, but as I left school some 30 years ago that is rather irrelevent - university of life has provided more of a background!

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