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: Locking Worksheet Names.

Locking Worksheet Names

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 23, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you are developing workbooks for others to use, you may want your worksheets to retain whatever names you give them. Excel normally allows users to change worksheet names, as desired. If you don't want them to change, the only way to prevent it is to lock the workbook. You can take these steps:

  1. Click Tools | Protection | Protect Workbook. Excel displays the Protect Workbook dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Protect Workbook dialog box.

  3. Make sure that the Structure check box is selected.
  4. Enter a password in the Password box.
  5. Click on OK. Excel displays the Confirm Password dialog box, prompting you to reenter the password.
  6. Reenter the password and click on OK.

The user can no longer make changes to the names of the worksheet tabs, nor to anything else that affects the structure of the workbook. (For instance, they cannot enter new worksheets or delete existing ones.)

If you want to protect the workbook under the control of a macro, then you can use this code:

ActiveWorkbook.Protect Password:="MyPassword", Structure:=True

All you need to do is provide password you want to use in place of the "MyPassword" example.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2689) 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: Locking Worksheet Names.

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. ...

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