How to protect or set an Excel file in a read-only state

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Catherine Le Nevez

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The number of uses the Excel tool can be used is impressive. Although its main use as an office automation tool is in the area of ​​calculations and finances. Documents of this type need a specific type of data security protection. As change the status of the file to read-only mode .

How to protect or set an Excel file in a read-only state

Data security is the priority of any company, because massive data loss of any kind can mean a delay in day-to-day operations or monetary losses. The best solution for these types of problems is prevention. What better way to protect your data from errors than to protect your Excel file.

    How can I lock an Excel file for read only?

    Editing an Excel file in read mode in newer versions of the application doesn't pose much of a challenge. It's a visible enough option to only apply when you're done editing your document.

    • Open the document you want to protect and go to the File menu. An easy way to access the file menu is the command shortcut Alt+A .
    • In the Information section, click the option Protect book and then on the Always open read-only option.

    • When you do, the change is immediate and the option Protect Book is highlighted in yellow .
    • For the changes to take effect, close the file and save the changes made .

    To protect the file with a version of Excel 2003 you do this from the Tools menu - Options and finally, Security.

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    How to remove or unlock the reading mode of an Excel?

    You may already have Excel workbooks with these restrictions enabled, if you are the author of the book, just enter File, Information, Protect Book and click on the first option to remove the read-only mode.

    Why are Excel files opened in read-only mode?

    As owners, many turn to this alternative for protect your files and provide security for your data. This mode allows these users to be the only ones with permissions covering editing and editing. So, if you open an Excel file and it appears in read-only mode, it means that it is a protected document.

    Is it possible to edit an Excel in read-only mode?

    Now, when another user accesses the file, they will see a message that says "The author wants you to open the book ' name.xls 'with read-only access unless you need to save your changes. Do you want to open it with read-access only? ".

    In case the user makes changes to the file and tries to save them, another warning message will be displayed stating: Cannot save 'filetitle.xls' because it is a read-only file.

    To save your changes, save the workbook with a new name in a different location . The user can save the changes, but must save the document as a separate file.

    This is a way to "bypass" the read-only restriction, because you can edit the file, add formulas, edit fields, add tables, or change whatever interests you. When you want to save the changes you just have to save it as another file with the option "Save with name".

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    Other ways to protect an Excel file

    In case you want to be more specific when protecting an Excel file, the newer versions have more protection options . To access these options go to the menu File (Alt + A) then in the Information section and finally, the Protect book option.

    Protect Current Sheet

    If you have multiple sheets in a document, but you only want them to have access to editing some of them, you can do so from this option. can indicate what kind of restrictions users have on the sheet , such as applying formats to cells, columns, and rows. Insert or delete items or even whether they can select cells or not.

    Protect the structure of the book

    Protects the structure of a workbook from making changes such as adding new sheets. For this to work it is a password must be entered , but if the password is lost there is no way to recover it. It is recommended that you keep the password in a safe place.

    Encrypt with password

    When this option is selected, the user who wants to access the file and open it must have the password assigned by the author of the document . Without the password you will not be able to open it. You can also put the password with macros and in case you want to remove it you can always do it later.

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