Tab Key Won't Move from Cell to Cell in Locked Worksheet

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2016)

10

Craig created a form that has unlocked cells. When this form is protected and he is viewing it on his office computer, he can use the Tab key to move from one unlocked cell to another. However, Craig noticed that when he is using his home computer the Tab key will not move from one cell to another. He wonders why this is happening; why Excel doesn't behave as it does at the office.

More than likely the reason is rooted in how Excel is configured. Here's what you need to check:

  1. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Protect Sheet tool. Excel displays the Protect Sheet dialog box.
  3. Clear the Protect Worksheet and Contents of Locked Cells check box.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  6. Click Advanced at the left of the dialog box.
  7. Scroll through the options until you see the Lotus Compatibility category. (Make sure you don't confuse the Lotus Compatibility category with the Lotus Compatibility Settings category. Both of the categories should be near the very bottom of the options.) (See Figure 1.)
  8. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  9. Make sure the Transition Navigation Keys check box is unchecked.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Protect the worksheet again.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6250) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 6 + 8?

2019-06-01 00:50:09

Sourav Biswas

I tried this and it worked
Step1: Select all the cells where you want to use tab-> Right Click ->Format Cells->Under protection tab, uncheck Locked Option->Click ok
Step2: Select all the cells where you want to use tab->Go to Review(form Excel Ribbon) and select Allow Edit ranges->Add the new selection as new->aply and click ok (no need to add a password there)
Step3: Make sure the Transition Navigation Keys check box is unchecked(File->Options->Advanced->Lotus compatibilility)
Step4: Protect the cells you want to be locked.
Step5: Now check if you can use tab on unlocked cells. :)

(Please make sure that Locked checkbox under Format Cells->Protection tab is checked for the cells you want to be locked. Otherwise the protected cells will not act as desired on excel online.
I have tested this and found that the tab is working on both offline and online versions of excel. Let me know if this helps :)


2018-12-15 06:26:35

Alok

SOlution given is not working


2017-02-09 12:12:53

Arlene

> Select the cells you want to allow editing/tabing through.
> Right click and choose Format Cells
> Under Protection tab, uncheck "Locked." The Tab should move to the unlocked cells.
>Protect your sheet as normal


2016-08-04 10:21:57

Dan

Like Terry said- Scroll lock.

On the keyboard mid-right-side, at the top, there is a key that says "Scroll Lock".

Try that key before panicking.


2016-05-12 11:01:43

Terry

Make sure your Scroll Lock is off. (key may be near top right of keyboard generally).


2016-04-26 14:40:02

Susan Oakley

Thanks - just what I needed!


2016-03-18 09:52:02

Jaime

Unprotect the sheet.
Select all and under Format Cells - Protection, unselect Locked box.
Next highlight cells you want locked, Format Cells - Protection, select Locked box.
Then go to Review tab, set cells that you want users to edit, and Protect Sheet.
Tab key should now tab to only editable cells.
Found in Excel Help feature.


2016-03-03 03:53:57

Jan

Same for me, did not work.


2016-03-02 09:11:54

TM

I agree with Phil Rock. This solution does not work.


2016-03-01 16:44:25

Phil Rock

This solution does not work


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