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When you create a file for others to use, you might want to make sure that they can modify only certain cells like for a data entry, but not other cells like formulas and descriptive text. You also might want to require a password for even opening or modifying the workbook. These are some of the more common permission features. Let's have a look at what we can do. Click the File tab and go into the Info section if you're not there already, and here under Permissions, this is where it all happens. So, click Protect Workbook. And we can mark a workbook as final. We'll do that a little bit later.
You can encrypt with a password so that only those who have the password can open the document. You can protect the current sheet, which means what we were just talking about that you can edit only parts of the sheet and not other parts of the sheet. Protecting Workbook Structure means that you can add, change or otherwise modify the worksheets of the workbook. And adding a digital signature is way of verifying that you the author of the workbook, you really are who you say. We'll talk about all of these in a little bit more detail. But for now let's go to the Home tab.
And here we have a typical worksheet and let's say we want the users of this worksheet only to be able to edit the data but not to modify any of the totals here in Column F, or any of the totals here in Row 14, or anything else that's not input data. So, let's select all of the data input cells just for these four fictitious supermarkets and just for our products here. Now, when a user comes in to edit a worksheet that's been protected, it's generally a good idea to mark off which areas are available to edit.
It just makes it easier to use. So, in the Home tab let's click the Color Fill button here and let's just give it maybe a light green shade. Now we need to go and unlock these cells. That might sound a little backwards, but there is a reason for that. Click the Format button and you see Lock Cell is highlighted. Click it to unlock those cells. Now, if you click any of these cells, you'll see that they're unlocked. But click any cell anywhere else in the worksheet. I'll just scroll down to some random cell here. I44. And when I go to the Format tab, I can see that the cell is locked.
I'll just press Ctrl+Home to get back to the beginning. You might wonder, gee, it's kind of backwards. Well, the reason is Excel figures that you'll probably have more cells that are locked than cells that are unlocked. Whether cells are locked or unlocked, it doesn't really matter until you protect the worksheet. So, now we need to protect the worksheet. So, click the Format button and down over here choose Protect Sheet. And we have all these options that we can allow users to do or not to do. Well, we probably don't want users to select locked cells, because what will happen is they will select it and say gee, why can't I modify the cell? So, let's deselect that.
Selecting unlocked cells, well, if you don't do that, the user won't be able to edit anything. And while we're at it, let's apply a password. Now, give it a password of password, click OK, confirm, and I'll just press Enter. Okay, so now the user can edit the data, but they can't edit anything else. Now, you'll notice the worksheet doesn't look any different, except the Ribbon bar. Most of these options are grayed out, because those are certain things you can't do while the worksheet is protected. But this is only Sheet1. Let's take a look at Sheet2.
Sheet2, the whole Ribbon bar is available. Sheet3, the Ribbon bar is available. So, it's only Sheet1 that we have protected. Now that we have the worksheet protected, let's go and password protect the entire workbook. So, go up to the File tab. Back in the Info section. First, you see here under Permissions, it tells us that a worksheet is protected and we can see that it is Sheet1. So, click the Protect Workbook button, and you see Protect Current Sheet is also highlighted there. Let's choose here Encrypt with Password.
And this isn't the most secure thing in the world. I'll call it Password. Again, in real life you should probably choose more secure passwords. And I'll confirm. Now, it tells us that a password is required to open the workbook and the other information that we saw previously. So, let's go back to the Home tab and let's save it. So, you can just press Ctrl+S, or I click the Save button, close it, press Ctrl+F4, click the Close button. Let's reopen it. Go to the File tab. Choose Permissions. Okay, now we have to enter the password which is password.
So, now we have the password to open the workbook, so we can see the workbook but we would still need the password if we wanted to unlock it. Well, let's just type in some random data. It doesn't matter really what we type in. Okay, let's say this is all the data that we have. We can mark this worksheet as final. So, go back to the File tab and under the Info section here again, click Protect Workbook and we'll mark it as Final. And OK it to confirm. It gives us some additional information. Click OK.
It tells us also that it's marked as Final. Well, what that means is when we go to the Home tab or when we open it, we have this yellow banner telling us that it's marked as final. But it's not a security feature because you could always click this Edit Anyway button and make it not final and go back to editing it. So, this is really just a suggestion. One more thing I want to talk about is let's go back to the File tab and under the Info section and Protect Workbook, we have adding a digital signature. What that's all about is when you create a workbook and send it to someone, especially if it's in a secure environment, maybe there is financial information, the recipient might want to make sure that the person they are getting it from really is who they claim to be, or that they are not getting any sort of spam or phishing message.
Well, there are two ways to add a digital signature. One way is you can purchase what is called a security certificate, and you could get a security certificate from a trust authority. And there are any number of trust authorities. VeriSign, and Comodo, and Microsoft are some of the more common ones. And it's kind of like getting a document notarized. You probably need to send them a fax of your driver's license for example. The other way to create a digital signature is what's called self certification. And when you install Microsoft Office on your computer, you can install the program that runs self certification.
Well, it's free and it's easier to do, but of course it's less secure and you can call yourself Mickey Mouse and it won't know any better. So, setting workbook permissions is a sort of thing that if you need it, you probably knew it already before watching this video. And you can get some more detailed information directly from these trust authorities we just talked about. Or you might work in a company that uses these features in which case the IT people can probably help you a little bit more and tell you how they are using it.
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