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: Easily Entering Dispersed Data.

Easily Entering Dispersed Data

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2016)

2

I needed to enter information into many rows of widely dispersed columns, like A, Q, BD, BJ, CF, etc. (I'm sure you get the idea.) I was right-arrowing along and I was thinking: if I were in Word I'd just set some tabs or bookmarks to move around quickly. What is the equivalent in Excel? A little delving into the Help files let me know that it's done like this:

  1. Decide which columns (or rows, or cells) in which you want to enter data.
  2. Highlight the column (or rows or cells).
  3. Choose Cells from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Protection tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Protection tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  6. Clear the Locked checkbox.
  7. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
  8. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for each column (or row or cell) in which you need to enter data.
  9. Choose Protection from the Tools menu, and then choose Protect Sheet from the submenu. Excel displays the Protect Sheet dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  10. Figure 2. The Protect Sheet dialog box.

  11. You do not need to change any information in the dialog box, nor enter a password. Just click on OK.

That's it! Excel will only let you go to cells that are still editable, and those are the ones for which you cleared the Lock property before you protected the sheet. Enjoy tabbing to the places on your worksheet that you need to.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3027) 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: Easily Entering Dispersed Data.

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

Checking for Words and Phrases

You may want to determine if a document contains a certain set of words or phrases. There are a couple of ways you can make ...

Discover More

Creating Multiple Blank Documents in One Step

Word makes it easy to create a new, blank document. What if you want to create more than one document at a time, however? ...

Discover More

Enhanced Filling

Using the AutoFill feature of Excel is very handy. If you want to expand the utility offered by the feature, all you need to ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Combining Columns

Need to concatenate the contents in a number of columns so that it appears in a single column? Excel has no intrinsic way to ...

Discover More

Transposing and Linking

Do you need to both transpose and link information you are pasting in a worksheet? It isn't as impossible to do as it appears ...

Discover More

Default Cell Movement when Deleting

Delete a cell or a range of cells, and Excel needs to figure out how to rearrange the void left by the deletion. You can ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 9 - 2?

2014-02-11 11:34:31

Michael (Micky) Avidan

It is far more important to understand that no one needs to repeat steps 2 through 6 for each column - especially when many columns are involved.

Step 2 should read:
MULTI Highlight/Select the columnS involved.
In order to Select multiple columns - one should hold the CTRL key while clicking on the Columns letter.

Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)
ISRAEL


2014-02-10 14:42:36

Kelly Runyon

This is really picky of me, but I think you should say "select" rather than "highlight" in step 2 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.