Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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: Spell-Checking in a Protected Worksheet.

Spell-Checking in a Protected Worksheet

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 7, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Craig has a protected Excel worksheet in which he would like to spell-check a specific cell. The problem, of course, is that the spell-checker cannot be run on a protected worksheet. So, the process of doing the desired spell-checking is to unprotect the worksheet, do the check, and then again protect the worksheet.

In order to have the macro complete these steps, you must know the password used to protect the worksheet. The following simple example assumes that the password is "mypass."

Sub SpellCheckCell1()
    With ActiveSheet
        .Unprotect ("mypass")
        .Range("A15").CheckSpelling
        .Protect ("mypass")
    End With
End Sub

You'll obviously need to change the password used in the macro to the one appropriate for your worksheet. You'll also need to change the cell being checked; this macro checks cell A15. If you would rather have the macro check whatever cell is selected when the macro is run, then you can change it in this manner:

Sub SpellCheckCell2()
    With ActiveSheet
        .Unprotect ("mypass")
        Selection.CheckSpelling
        .Protect ("mypass")
    End With
End Sub

Regardless of which macro you use, you can assign it to a shortcut key or a toolbar button in order to make it easy to run. (How you do these assignments has been discussed in other ExcelTips issues.)

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 (10403) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Spell-Checking in a Protected Worksheet.

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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