Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Unprotecting Groups of Worksheets.

Unprotecting Groups of Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2013)

1

Excel allows you to protect and unprotect worksheets. The purpose, of course, is to allow others to use your workbook, but not to modify certain cells within each worksheet.

Since protection is done at a worksheet level, it can be major pain to step through each worksheet in a workbook and either protect or unprotect them. If you have 25 worksheets, you must activate each worksheet, do the protect or unprotect, and move on to the next one.

A less time-consuming method of protecting each worksheet in a workbook is to use a macro to do the actual work. The following macro will do the trick:

Sub ProtectAllSheets()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim sOrigSheet As String
    Dim sOrigCell As String
    Dim J As Integer

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    sOrigSheet = ActiveSheet.Name
    sOrigCell = ActiveCell.Address

    For Each ws In Worksheets
        ws.Select
        ws.Protect Password:="Password"
    Next ws

    Application.GoTo Reference:=Worksheets("" _
      & sOrigSheet & "").Range("" & sOrigCell & "")
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The macro to unprotect all the worksheets is only slightly different:

Sub UnProtectAllSheets()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim sOrigSheet As String
    Dim sOrigCell As String
    Dim J As Integer

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    sOrigSheet = ActiveSheet.Name
    sOrigCell = ActiveCell.Address

    For Each ws In Worksheets
        ws.Select
        ws.Unprotect Password:="Password"
    Next ws

    Application.GoTo Reference:=Worksheets("" _
      & sOrigSheet & "").Range("" & sOrigCell & "")
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

While these macros will work just fine, there are a couple of caveats. First, you need to make sure that the Password variable in each macro is set to the proper password for your worksheets. (This assumes, of course, that all the worksheets use the same passwords.) The second caveat is that since the macro has to include the password, the overall security of your workbook may be compromised—anyone that can display the macros will know what the passwords are for your workbooks.

As a solution to this last problem, you could modify the macros so that they ask for a password to use in their work. The following would be the version of the macro that protects worksheets:

Sub ProtectAllSheetsPass()
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim sOrigSheet As String
    Dim sOrigCell As String
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim sPWord As String

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    sOrigSheet = ActiveSheet.Name
    sOrigCell = ActiveCell.Address

    sPWord = InputBox("What password?", "Protect All")
    If sPWord > "" Then
        For Each ws In Worksheets
            ws.Select
            ws.Protect Password:=sPWord
        Next ws
    End If
    Application.GoTo Reference:=Worksheets("" _
      & sOrigSheet & "").Range("" & sOrigCell & "")
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The macro displays an input box asking for the password. The same password is then used to protect every worksheet in the workbook. The same sort of change can be done to the macro that unprotects all the worksheets.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2275) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Unprotecting Groups of Worksheets.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries

It appears that Word doesn't allow you to define custom dictionary entries that include ampersands. There are ways you can ...

Discover More

Buttons for Workbooks

Wouldn't it be great to have a workbook accessible with just a single button click? It's possible if you follow the steps in ...

Discover More

Grouping Tiles on the Start Screen

The Start screen can serve as your launching pad for whatever programs you desire. You can move tiles around on the Start ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Magnifying Only the Current Cell

You can use the Zoom feature of Excel to magnify what Excel shows of your workbook, but it affects the entire screen. What if ...

Discover More

Swapping Two Strings

Strings are used quite frequently in macros. You may want to swap the contents of two string variables, and you can do so by ...

Discover More

Determining the Current Directory

When you use a macro to do file operations, it works (by default) within the current directory. If you want to know which ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 4?

2013-05-18 14:23:10

Marty Wilson

In tip #3102 you referenced a great third-party Excel tool, named ASAP Utilities that you can find at this Web page:

http://www.asap-utilities.com/asap-utilities-excel-tools.php

That same Utilities tool has a built in function to both protect and unprotect multiple worksheets with just a few mouse clicks (find it on the Sheets tab).

It also offers many other built in functions that even casual Excel users would find helpful. It is free for non-business use I find it so frequently useful that I made a voluntary donation.


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.