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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2016)

8

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

Controlling Widows and Orphans

Got singular lines at the bottom or top of a page? These are often referred to as widows and orphans, and Word allows you to ...

Discover More

Locking Icons on the Desktop

Your desktop is supposed to be place where you can put your most-often-used program and file icons. You can spend hours ...

Discover More

Appending to a Non-Excel Text File

Does your macro need to add information to the end of a text file? This is called appending, and is done using the technique ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Changing Gridline Color

Gridlines are very helpful in seeing where cells are located on the screen. You are not limited to black gridlines; here's ...

Discover More

Fixing the Decimal Point

Don't want to always type the decimal point as you enter information in a worksheet? If you are entering information that ...

Discover More

Disabling Shift+Ctrl

Both Excel and Windows have scores of defined shortcut keys. This can be great for productivity, but it can be a real pain if ...

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 7 - 1?

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.