Hide And Protect Formulas

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. When I circulate my statistical Excel worksheet to users outside my company, I need to protect the underlying confidential formulas but also keep the worksheet easy for users to enter their data. Any ideas?

A. Try using Excel’s Protection ; it can hide underlying formulas and protect them from any attempted change.

Here’s how it works: Before you enable Protection be sure to format the affected cells (right-clicking opens the menu that includes Format Cells ) so they display their results—not the underlying formula—in the format of your choosing. Then, while still in Format Cells , click on the Protection tab, check Locked and Hidden , and click on OK (see screenshot below).

Now go to the Excel toolbar and click on Tools , Protection , Protect Sheet (see screenshot below). Make sure to place a check next to Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells . The defaults in the menu under Allow all users of this worksheet to: are Select locked cells and Select unlocked cells . Check any other options you want and enter a password, which appears as dots.

Be aware that if you fail to enter a password and click on OK , the cell is still hidden but anyone can reverse the protection by going through the above routine and clicking on Unprotect Sheet .

SPONSORED REPORT

Cybersecurity threats proliferating for midsize and smaller businesses

This report details how SMBs can properly protect private information from breaches, design and implement a cybersecurity policy, and create safeguards for training and education.

QUIZ

Test yourself on these often confused words

The spelling checker on your word processing program can do only so much to flag problems. Your best insurance is to learn the troublesome words that trip up writers and use them correctly by the standards of formal, written English.