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Office Excel 2011 - Protect worksheet or workbook - I have protected the worksheet by a password but find I still can copy and past into a new worksheet and then I can change things arround. How can I stop someone being able to change or delete things.

asked Sep 12 '11 at 01:36

Wilderness's gravatar image


edited Sep 13 '11 at 03:27

Steve's gravatar image


Hi Wilderness - Welcome to the site!

Although the security options for Excel are pretty good, they are not perfect. If your allowing someone to open the spreadsheet, there almost nothing you can do which will keep them from copying the information and recreating it somewhere else (Copy/Paste). You have really only 1 option. IRM (Information Rights Management).

Unfortunately I'm not running Excel 2011 (I assume your a MAC user?) so the info below is for Windows Excel 2010.

Information Rights Management (IRM) allows you to lock down a Word or Excel document so that people can READ the document but not change, copy or print it (Unless you give them that access).

The only catch is you will need to have a Hotmail / Windows Live account and everyone you send the document to will also need to have one as well.

With the document / spreadsheet open, Click Info, Protect Workbook, Restrict Permission by People, Restrict Access.

From here it will walk you through the IRM setup with your Life Account. As I said, you will need an IRM account. Once setup, go back and Click Protect Workbook, Restrict Permission by People. You will then be able to specify the email address of those who can Read Vs. Change the document. Clicking more Options allows you to setup more restrictions like Expire the Workbook, Allow Printing, Allow those with Read access to Copy content or Request more access.

Overall, IRM is powerfull but it has its drawbacks.

Those who you give access will need to hit Microsoft and setup their Email address with IRM (easy). Also, although Excel blocks people from doing a Highlight-Copy of the document, it's almost impossible to block from using a 3rd party tool like Snagit to take a screenshot of the spreadsheet. That being said, it does make it harder.

Hope this helps!


answered Sep 13 '11 at 03:26

Steve's gravatar image


Right click the tab of each sheet you want to protect. You will see an option to protect sheet. When you click it, you will have many different options in regards to securing the sheet. Select locked cells, format cells, insert rows, etc. You have the option of using a password or protecting without a password. Hope this is less frustrating...


answered Dec 02 '11 at 13:22

STALKINGCROW's gravatar image


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Asked: Sep 12 '11 at 01:36

Seen: 9,402 times

Last updated: Dec 02 '11 at 13:22

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