Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
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.
Learn more about Allen...
Kathy wrote to say she was having problems with a calendar she developed in Excel. It seems that when she protects her worksheet, she cannot change the selection in a combo box on the calendar.
The solution to this is relatively simple, provided you remember that every control you add to a worksheet (such as a combo box) is associated with a cell in the worksheet. Normally, when you select a value in the combo box, the change is reflected in the cell with which the combo box is associated. Thus, selecting "8" in the combo box would result in the associated cell's value being changed to 8. Likewise, if you change the cell value, the value displayed in the combo box also changes.
When you protect a worksheet, you prevent changes to any cells except those that you specify as "changeable." If Excel cannot make changes to the cell associated with a combo box (because that cell is protected), then it won't allow changes to the combo box. The solution is to make sure the cell associated with the combo box is not protected. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Protection tab of the Format Cells dialog box.
The combo box control should now work as desired.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2691) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
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!