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Microsoft Excel 2010 – Protecting selected cells

I was at Yishun Town Secondary School the other day to assist on the Gerald, Microsoft School Technology Innovation Center Manager, presentation on a hands on session for Microsoft Office techology.

We were posed some questions, I realised that it is useful to post some of them in a form of guide here so it will help teachers. How do we protect some cells and not allow editing on them while allowing some others to be edited. It will be useful when ICT HODs or teachers want to do up an excel document with the formulas and wish to send to his/her team to use but they do not want them to mess it up.

1. First, lets open up Microsoft Excel 2010.

2. In this example, we will add first and second column and show the result in the third column.
Select A3, go to Formulas tab > AutoSum > Sum

3. Select A1 and A2 for your data range.

4. On the bottom right of the cell, you will see a enlarged black dot, click on it and drag it all the way down to 20th row. ( In this example, we will just make use of 20 rows for the calculation. )

5. You will see something like this.

6. Right click on the 20 cells and go to Format Cells

7. Go to Protection and make sure Locked is ticked. This means these cells are not allowed to be edited.

8. Now Select A1 to B20

9. Right click on the selected cells and go to Format Cells

10. Go to the Protection Tab and untick Locked ( This means these cells can be edited )

11. You might want to color the cells so that your end user will know that these cells can be edited by going to Home tab > Cell Styles > choose Input.

12. Go to Review tab > Protect Sheet

13. Input a password into the dialog box which appears. Please remember the password as you require that to unlock.

14. Another dialog box will appear to confirm the password, input the same password in again.

15. Try inputing values in A1-B20 and you will realised that you can do it but you cant do it when you try on other cells.

This concludes the tutorial on how do you protect selected cells in Microsoft Excel 2010. I have attached the sample document which you can download and have a look.

Should you have any question, please feel free to contact me at