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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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

Changing an Invalid Autosave Folder

Excel allows you to specify where it stores various files used by the program. One location you can specify is where ...

Discover More

Automatic Question Numbering

Want to use Word's numbering capabilities to help you number a series of questions? Here's how to accomplish the task as ...

Discover More

Default Envelope Margins

When you create envelopes in Word, you may want to adjust where the return address and main address are printed. Doing so ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Password Protecting Specific Columns in a Worksheet

When you are developing a worksheet for others to use, you might want to protect some of the information in that ...

Discover More

Preventing Someone from Recreating a Protected Worksheet

When you share a protected workbook with other people, you may not want them to get around the protection by creating a ...

Discover More

Automatically Protecting After Input

Do you want user-entered data to be immediately protected so that it cannot be changed? This can be done relatively ...

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 3 + 4?

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.