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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2016)

9

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Word Freezes When Working with Lots of Clip Art

Don't you hate it when Word freezes? Laurie has that problem when she works with clip art in her documents. There are any ...

Discover More

Printing a Document's Mirror Image

If you need to print the mirror image (backwards) of a document, you may think you are out of luck in Word. There are ...

Discover More

Moving Text without Affecting the Clipboard

Want a quick and easy way to move text (or other document elements) from one place to another in your document? Check out ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Displaying Excel's Developer Tab

The Developer tab of the ribbon is the gateway to many advanced features in Excel, including those features related to ...

Discover More

Setting a Default File Format

Excel normally saves workbooks using a default file format that is peculiar to your version of the program. You can ...

Discover More

Selected Cells Not Shaded

Does the pale coloring scheme used to mark selected cells by Excel 2007 drive you nuts? You aren't alone. Here's an idea ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 3?

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


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.