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: Visually Showing a Protection Status.

Visually Showing a Protection Status

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 11, 2015)

Todd has developed a workbook used by others. To prevent data from being ruined, he's protected the worksheet as well as the workbook. The problem is, Todd sometimes forgets to protect the worksheet and workbook after making changes. He is wondering if there is a way to create a visual indicator that shows whether the worksheet/workbook is currently protected or unprotected.

Of course, the easiest way to check to see if something is unprotected is to just start looking at the tools on the various ribbon tabs. If the full range of tools is there, then the worksheet and workbook are unprotected. If there are significant numbers of tools that are unavailable ("grayed out"), then protection is turned on.

Another easy solution is to create a user-defined function that returns a value indicating whether the workbook or worksheet are protected. The following will do the trick:

Function WksProtected(rng As Range) As String
    Application.Volatile
    If rng.Parent.ProtectContents Then
        WksProtected = "Protected"
    Else
        WksProtected = "Not Protected"
    End If
End Function
Function WkbProtected(rng As Range) As String
    Application.Volatile
    If rng.Parent.Parent.ProtectStructure Then
        WkbProtected = "Protected"
    Else
        WkbProtected = "Not Protected"
    End If
End Function

To use the macros, just include formulas like the following anywhere in the worksheet:

=WksProtected(A1)
=WkbProtected(A1)

The result of the formulas is either "Protected" or "Not Protected," depending on the state of the worksheets and workbook. You could use conditional formatting to highlight the cells based on what is returned by the functions.

Remember: The value from the functions is only updated if the worksheet is recalculated. If all you do is protect (or unprotect) the worksheet, that doesn't result in the worksheet being recalculated. So to see the proper results after changing the protection status, you'll need to make sure you recalculate the worksheet.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9639) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Visually Showing a Protection Status.

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

DLL Problem with Spell Check

Word 2002 has an issue with the SpellCheck feature returning a dll error.

Discover More

The Line that Won't Go Away

Have you ever had a line appear on your document that you can't seem to get rid of? It could be due to a built-in ...

Discover More

Viewing Comments

Adding comments to a document is a normal activity when writing and editing. Once comments have been added, you may wonder ...

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)

Inserting and Deleting Rows in a Protected Worksheet

You've protected and saved your worksheet with explicit instructions that you be allowed to insert and delete rows. But when ...

Discover More

Controlling Entry Order on Unprotected Cells

When you protect a worksheet, one of the benefits is that you can limit which cells can be used for data entry. How a user ...

Discover More

Locking All Non-Empty Cells

Need to make sure that your worksheet is locked, with only the blank cells accessible to editing? You can do this easily by ...

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?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.