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Chapter 16. Collaborating with Colleague... > Protecting Workbooks and Worksheets - Pg. 277

Collaborating with Colleagues 8. 9. Click Accept to accept the change. The value in cell F4 is $175,000, and the Accept or Reject Changes box disappears. On the Standard toolbar, click the Save button to save your work. 277 CLOSE: MergeTarget. Protecting Workbooks and Worksheets Excel gives you the ability to share your workbooks over the Web, via a corporate intranet, and by copying files for other users to take with them on business trips. An important part of sharing files, however, is ensuring that only those users you want to have access to the files can open or modify them. For example, The Garden Company might have a series of computers available on the sales floor so that sales associates can look up prices and inventory information. While those computers are vital tools in making sales, it wouldn't help the company to have customers, even those with good intentions, accessing critical workbooks. You can limit access to your workbooks, or elements within a workbook, by setting passwords. Setting a password for an Excel workbook means that any users who want to access the protected workbook must enter the workbook's password in a dialog box that appears when they try to open the file. If the person doesn't know the password, he or she will be unable to open the workbook. To set a password for a workbook, open the workbook to be protected, and on the File menu, click Save As. The Save As dialog box appears, with the name of the open workbook in the File name box. On the toolbar, click the Tools menu head and then click General Options to open the Save Op- tions dialog box. In the Save Options dialog box, you can require users to enter one password to open the workbook and another to modify it. After you click OK, a Confirm Password dialog box will appear so that you can verify the passwords required to access and modify the workbook. After you have confirmed the passwords, click Save in the Save As dialog box to finish adding password protection to the workbook. To later remove the passwords from a workbook, repeat these steps, but delete the passwords from the Save Options dialog box and save the file. Tip The best passwords are random strings of characters, but random characters are hard to remember. One good method of creating hard-to-guess passwords is to combine elements of two words with a number in between. For example, you might have a password wbk16pro, which could be read as "workbook, Chapter 16, protection." In any event, avoid dictionary words in English or any other language, as they can be found easily by password- guessing programs available on the Internet. If you want to allow anyone to open a workbook but want to prevent unauthorized users from editing a worksheet, you can protect a worksheet by displaying that worksheet, pointing to Protection on the Tools menu, and then clicking Protect Sheet to open the Protect Sheet dialog box. In the Protect Sheet dialog box, you select the Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells check box to protect the sheet. You can also set a password that a user must type in before protection can be turned off again and choose which elements of the worksheet a user can change while protection is turned on. To allow a user to change a worksheet element without entering the password, select the check box next to that element's name.