Protecting Excel Files from Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2013)

One of the hallmarks of the Office suite is that its applications all work together, and sometimes very seamlessly. For instance, you can easily open Excel files from within Word. Doing so, however, can wreak havoc on your original workbook when you later save the Excel workbook from within Word. (Word assumes that you will want to work on the file in Word in the future, and so makes changes to the document format. This then makes the workbook of little value in Excel.)

Of course, routinely trashing original workbook files by opening then in Word and then saving them again is a great way to ruin a day. It is also a great way to waste a lot of time and money. If you are in an organization, one way to protect your Excel files is to only makes copies of the workbook available to others. That way your original is intact, but the copies are free to be messed up.

If it is imperative that others get to the original workbook (perhaps to make changes in the data), the only way to protect an Excel file so it is not "openable" in Word is to disable the Excel file converter for Word. You do this by starting the Office Setup program, choosing to add/remove features, and then turning off the converter. (The exact way in which you do this depends on the version of Office you are using.) Generally the converter is in an area of Setup called Text Converters; look for a converter called "Microsoft Excel Converter."

Once the converter is removed from Word, you can again start the program, but you won't be able to load an Excel workbook into Word.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2624) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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

Changing the Footnote Separator

When you print a document that uses footnotes, Word normally places a small line between the end of the document body text ...

Discover More

Spreading Out a Table

If someone sends you a worksheet that has lots of data in it, you might want to "spread out" the data so you can have some ...

Discover More

Open Workbooks Don't Display

Have you ever opened a workbook, only to have it not display your worksheet data? This can be very disconcerting, but it ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Opening Non-Excel Files

Not all data is created in Excel. Indeed, you may have data in files created by many other types of programs. You might be ...

Discover More

Setting a Default File Format

Excel normally saves workbooks using a default file format that is peculiar to your version of the program. You can configure ...

Discover More

Appending to a Non-Excel Text File

Does your macro need to add information to the end of a text file? This is called appending, and is done using the technique ...

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 three more than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.