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CNET Membership newsletter July 9, 2004 

The 5 that matter

Dear CNET members:
Every week while going through all of the questions and answers, I not only learn a lot about the topic of the week but also a bit about the personalities of the members who submit them. It's a great feeling knowing that people from all walks of life, in fact, from all over the world, read and participate in this newsletter. And I hope that most of you are benefiting from it as we all teach and learn from one another. So I would just like to send a big thank-you to all my readers to let you know that I appreciate your submissions and your feedback whether it's positive, critical, or funny. Now let's move on to this week's great answer by Brian H. of Israel on how to protect those selective cells in Excel. I hope this helps you out, Chris H. of Thailand. As always, check out the great honorable mentions too!

(Note: I will be taking a week off, so I'll miss you all next Friday. But please stay tuned for the answer to this week's question in a couple of weeks. If you are in dire need of help, check out our technical forums, the solution could be just one post away.)

1In Microsoft Excel, how can I protect selective cells in a worksheet (the ones that contain formulas) from accidentally being altered or deleted?

--Submitted by: Chris H. of Hua Hin, Thailand

By default, all Excel worksheet cells have locked definitions associated to them. This function will take effect only if the worksheet has been protected, and it covers all cells in the protected worksheet or workbook.

If you want to protect only specific cells, such as those with formulas, you would first need to unlock all the cells on the worksheet, lock the cells that you want to protect, and protect the worksheet.

1.Select all of the worksheet (hold down the Ctrl key and A) or all of the working cells in your sheet (hold down the Ctrl, then select Cells).
2.When the selection has been made, right-click the mouse and select Format Cells from the drop-down window.
3.Click the Protection tab, deselect the Locked check box, and click OK.
4.Now click the specific cells that you want to protect. You can select them all at once by holding down the Ctrl button on your keyboard while you click each cell.
5.Once all cells are selected, right-click the mouse again, go to Format Cells, click the Protection tab, and this time select the Locked check box and click OK.
6.The final stage is to protect the worksheet. Click Tools, go down the menu to Protection, click Protect Sheet, then click OK. A password is optional here. If you want to password-protect it, enter a password (you will need to reenter it to confirm), then click OK. Don't forget your password because there is no way to retrieve it.
7.Save your work!!

Now your worksheet is protected, and locked cells cannot be tampered with unless you follow step 6 to Unprotect sheet or open it with the protection password you assigned to it.

--Submitted by: Brian H. of Israel

(Please click here for Brian's complete answer and don't forget to read the honorable mentions, which include a lot of great additional tips.)

For his efforts, we’re sending Brian his choice of any Learning CD.

Check out next week's question:

In Windows XP, is there a way to change the icons for my favorite programs into my own icon designs?

--Submitted by: Laura S. of Sparks, Nevada

(BONUS: This week, I'm going to throw in an additional Learning CD-ROM if you can answer the above question for Macs also.)

We feature a new question every Friday. If you have the answer, e-mail us at If we choose your response, you'll get a free CD. Click here for Q&A submission guidelines

Best regards and enjoy!

Lee Koo
CNET Community
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