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Excel/Protecting certain cells


Hi Tom

I am having a problem locking some cells on a worksheet.  I have followed the instructions widely available online, but they are not working.  The procedure I am following is:
1. Unlock all cells on the worksheet, using the format cells, protection commands. I am unchecking the locked cells box, but noticed that it has a greyed out tick in it, rather than a bold tick - does this mean anything?
2. Highlight the range to lock (cols N and O)
3. Back to the format cells menu and tick the locked cells box
4. Protect the worksheet via the Review button.

I am finding that whatever I do, all the cells on the worksheet become locked, rather than just cols N and O.

Can you spot what I am doing wrong?  




I followed what you say and it worked fine for me.  

The gray box in the locked checkbox means that some cells are locked and some are not.  If you have all cells selected by clicking in the corner of the row and column headers, then if you uncheck that box, all cells should be unlocked.    Then selecting all of column N and O and going to the protection tab in format cells and clicking on the locked checkbox.  the cells in N:O and only N:O should become locked.  Then you enforce your protection "formatting" by protecting the sheet.  As I said, that worked for me.

I would make sure  you don't have merged cells.  That would probably alter what you have selected.

Tom Ogilvy

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Tom Ogilvy


Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]


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Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

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Microsoft MVP in Excel.

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