by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 18, 2016)
Excel allows you to protect individual worksheets, as you have learned in other issues of ExcelTips. (You choose Tools | Protection | Protect Sheet.) You can use this approach to protect individual worksheets independently, using different passwords. This means that one user could make changes to one worksheet using one password, and another could use a different password to make changes to the other worksheet.
What if you want to limit access to the worksheets entirely, however? What if you don't even want an unauthorized user to see the other worksheet? This need is a bit trickier to accommodate, but it can be done. The basic approach would be as follows:
Steps 1, 2, and 5 are easy enough to do, and have been covered in other issues of ExcelTips. The crux of this approach, however, is steps 3 and 4. You can create a user form by following these steps:
With your user form created you are ready to associate macro code with the controls you just placed. Make sure the user form is selected and press F7 to display the Code window for the form. The window may contain a line or two of automatically generated code. Replace this with the following code:
Dim bOK2Use As Boolean Private Sub btnOK_Click() Dim bError As Boolean Dim sSName As String Dim p As DocumentProperty Dim bSetIt As Boolean bOK2Use = False bError = True If Len(txtUser.Text) > 0 And Len(txtPass.Text) > 0 Then bError = False Select Case txtUser.Text Case "user1" sSName = "u1sheet" If txtPass.Text <> "u1pass" Then bError = True Case "user2" sSName = "u2sheet" If txtPass.Text <> "u2pass" Then bError = True Case Else bError = True End Select End If If bError Then MsgBox "Invalid User Name or Password" Else 'Set document property bSetIt = False For Each p In ActiveWorkbook.CustomDocumentProperties If p.Name = "auth" Then p.Value = sSName bSetIt = True Exit For End If Next p If Not bSetIt Then ActiveWorkbook.CustomDocumentProperties.Add _ Name:="auth", LinkToContent:=False, _ Type:=msoPropertyTypeString, Value:=sSName End If Sheets(sSName).Visible = True Sheets(sSName).Unprotect (txtPass.Text) Sheets(sSName).Activate bOK2Use = True Unload UserForm1 End If End Sub Private Sub UserForm_Terminate() If Not bOK2Use Then ActiveWorkbook.Close (False) End If End Sub
The above code does several things. Notice that there are two procedures: a longer one that runs when the user clicks on the OK button in the form, and another that runs when the form is terminated. When the user clicks on the OK button, the procedure checks to make sure that the combination of the user name and password is correct. If it is not, then the user is notified. If it is, then the authorized sheet name is stored in a document variable and the appropriate sheet is displayed and unprotected.
If you want to change the acceptable user names, sheet names, and passwords, you can do so by making the desired changes in the Select Case structure near the top of this macro code.
The second macro in this code (UserForm_Terminate) comes into play if the user tries to simply dismiss your form without entering a user name and password. In this instance, if the authorization process was not previously completed, then the workbook is simply closed.
In addition to the above code, you will also need to add the following macros to the workbook itself. These open the user form when the workbook is opened, and protect the worksheet when the workbook is closed.
Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean) Dim w As Worksheet Dim bSaveIt As Boolean bSaveIt = False For Each w In Worksheets If w.Visible Then Select Case w.Name Case "u1sheet" w.Protect ("u1pass") w.Visible = False bSaveIt = True Case "u2sheet" w.Protect ("u2pass") w.Visible = False bSaveIt = True End Select End If Next w If bSaveIt Then ActiveWorkbook.CustomDocumentProperties("auth").Delete ActiveWorkbook.Save End If End Sub Private Sub Workbook_Open() UserForm1.Show End Sub Private Sub Workbook_SheetActivate(ByVal Sh As Object) If Sh.Name <> "Main" Then If Sh.Name <> ActiveWorkbook.CustomDocumentProperties("auth").Value Then Sh.Visible = False MsgBox "You don't have authorization to view that sheet!" End If End If End Sub
When the user chooses to close the workbook--they are done with their work--the applicable worksheets are again protected and hidden. (If you change user sheet names and passwords, you will need to change them in the Select Case structure here, as well.) The macro then deletes the appropriate document property and saves the workbook.
Another interesting macro here is the Workbook_SheetActivate procedure. This is included in case where one user tries to use Format | Sheet | Unhide to unhide another user's worksheet. In this case, the user's authorized sheet name (stored in a document variable when the user was originally authorized) is compared to the sheet being displayed. If it doesn't match, then the user isn't allowed to view the worksheet. Note, as well, that this procedure references a worksheet called "Main". This worksheet is the third worksheet mentioned at the beginning of this tip. This worksheet is also the one first displayed when the workbook is opened.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1952) 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!
Once you protect a worksheet, you may run into problems with any combo boxes that the worksheet contains. This is a simple ...Discover More
You've protected and saved your worksheet with explicit instructions that you be allowed to insert and delete rows. But when ...Discover More
If you have a worksheet protected, it may not be immediately evident that it really is protected. This tip explains some of ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.