Restricting Editing to Individual Cells in Excel 2007

What if you only want to protect a single, or several single cells, in an entire Excel worksheet and allow users to edit or input data in the rest of the sheet?

Let’s say you have a worksheet like this:

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You would like your department members to edit the “data” in the black text cells, but you want to protect the “data” in the red text boxes from accidental changes.

First, you need to unprotect the entire worksheet. That sounds counterintuitive.
But Excel protects all cells in the worksheet by default whenever you set protections, so we need to turn that off in order to only protect individual cells.

To do this:

Click on the worksheet selection cell at the top-right corner of the worksheet to select the entire worksheet protect-5
Click the down-arrow on the Format icon on the Cells tab protect-1      

Click on Format Cells…
This will display the Custom Lists dialog.
Uncheck the “Locked” checkbox, then click “OK
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Now select the cell or cells you wish to protect.
(Select multiple cells by holding down the SHIFT key for contiguous cells or the CTRL key for non-contiguous cells.)
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Click the down-arrow on the Format icon on the Cells tab again and select “Lock Cell protect-1
In the above example, we have now locked 3 cells.Now, Click on the Format icon again and this time click on “Protect Sheet” and uncheck “Select locked cells“. Then click “OK

This prevents users from selecting – and editing – the cells that we locked in the previous step.
Be sure to leave “Select unlocked cells” checked – or your users will not be able to edit any cells at all!

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Save your worksheet and close it.

Now anyone who opens the worksheet will only be able to select and edit those cells that are not locked.