Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Stopping Validated Data from being Overwritten.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 16, 2020)
Melissa uses Data Validation regularly to limit what can be put into a cell. She notes that one flaw seems to be that it's always possible to overwrite the data by copying a cell from somewhere else in the file and pasting it into the cell that should be limited by Data Validation. Melissa wonders if there is any way to "lock down" the cells that have Data Validation, so no one can paste over them.
Melissa has discovered what some have called the "Achilles' heel" of Data Validation—you can paste over cell contents and thereby destroy whatever Data Validation rules were in the target cells. The only possible way around this is to use a macro to head off pasting into certain areas of the worksheet. A good way to do that is found at John Walkenbach's site:
There are some limitations to the macros noted on that page, but there are some drawbacks that are not noted:
Even with the drawbacks and limitations, this approach is probably the best way to overcome the potential problem.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11799) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Stopping Validated Data from being Overwritten.
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