Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Opening a Workbook as Read-Only.

Opening a Workbook as Read-Only

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 9, 2016)

7

There may be times when you want to open a workbook as read-only. This means you will not be able to save any changes to the workbook you are loading. You can use the Save As option from the File menu in order to save the workbook using a different filename, however. Opening a workbook as read-only is self-insurance so you don't inadvertently mess up your file. To open a workbook as read-only, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+O to display the Open dialog box. (In Excel 2013 you'll need to not only press Ctrl+O, but then click Computer and then Browse.)
  2. Locate the workbook you want to open and then click once on the filename.
  3. Click the down-arrow at the right side of the Open button. Excel displays a list of different ways you can open the workbook.
  4. Choose Open Read-Only from the options in the drop-down list.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7929) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Opening a Workbook as Read-Only.

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 five less than 5?

2016-06-17 16:49:00

Willy Vanhaelen

@Dawie
I tried you suggestion and indeed, the context menu shows "Open as Read-Only" but when I click on it, the file is opened normally (not as read-only) and you can save changes (Windows 7, Excel 2007). This is obviously a bug!

When I use the procedure suggested in this tip, the file is really opened as read-only and you can't save changes unless you chose another name.


2016-06-13 05:15:04

Dawie

In Windows File Explorer, you can hold SHIFT while you RIGHT-CLICK on the file and then select OPEN READ ONLY


2016-06-09 12:53:15

Richard Lester

I am using Windows 7 and Office 10 and I do not see step 3. Therefore I can't run step 4.

Could you send me a screen shot of step 3 if possible.


2013-08-26 12:29:24

marco

Sometimes I'm already in a file before I realize I should be read-only, so I added the "Toggle Read Only" button to the Quick Access Toolbar - this allows you to make it read-only (to you)without closing and reopening.


2013-08-26 09:18:21

Robin

If I want my spreadsheets as "read only" I simply change the Properties for that file to "read only" (right-click on the file name in the folder's view, then select properties and "check" the Read-only box then save your changes). This forces a "Save as" when you save the document. This keeps me from changing the original document. I do this on lots of files that I use over and over again but don't want them as formal "templates" for whatever reason.


2013-08-26 08:21:44

Bryan

@Steve: this is such a generic question. Your preferred search engine of choice is your friend here:
* http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=import+excel+to+access
* http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=create+access+form

If your goal is to build an Access database, then you don't want to start it in Excel then move to Access; simply start it in Access from the get go:
* http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=create+access+database
* http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=begineer+access+tutorial
* http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=access+database+design

How you proceed depends entirely on what you already have, what you want your end goal to be, and how much detail you want.


2013-08-24 11:29:44

Steve

Excel seems like an easy & fast way to start a database project. Is there a tutorial on how to convert/morph an Excel spreadsheet into an Access database and then how to create an Access Form for input?


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