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: Limiting Who Can Delete Data.

Limiting Who Can Delete Data

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 30, 2017)

Jim has a workbook that is used by multiple people in his company. He wonders if there is a way to allow everyone to add data to a group of cells, yet restrict who can delete the data from the cells. He has a group of about 50 that he wants to be able to add data, but he wants to give the delete capability to just 2 individuals.

There are any number of macro-based solutions you can try. Essentially, you need a macro to detect when information has been deleted and then check to see if the person deleting the information has permission to do so. The following is just one possible approach to the issue:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim sPassCheck As String
    Dim rng As Range
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim sPassword As String

    sPassword = "Password"
    sTemp = "You must enter the password to delete data"

    'Use to set a single cell if more than one cell is
    'in the target range
    If Target.Count > 1 Then
        Set rng = Target.Cells(1, 1)
    Else
        Set rng = Target
    End If

    If rng.Value = "" Then
        sPassCheck = InputBox(sTemp, "Delete check!")
        Application.EnableEvents = False
        If sPassCheck <> sPassword Then Application.Undo
    End If

    Application.EnableEvents = True
End Sub

The macro, which is actually an event handler triggered whenever something in the worksheet is changed, checks to see if the information in a cell (or top-left cell in a range) was deleted. If so, then the user is asked for a password. If the person doesn't have the password, then the Undo method is invoked to "undo" the person's deletion. (You'll want to change the password, assigned to the sPassword variable) to the actual password you want people to use.)

Another option is to use an Excel add-in that can take care of the security issues for you. Some subscribers suggest using A-Tools, which comes in either a free or pro (paid) edition. You can find more information about this add-in here:

http://www.atoolspro.com/

A-Tools, among other things, apparently allows you to apply various security features to Excel data that resides on a network. (Chances are good that Jim is sharing his workbook on a network, as it is used by many people in his company.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11597) 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: Limiting Who Can Delete 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

Text Doesn't Wrap at Margin in Normal View

If you are using Word in Normal view, and the text on the screen doesn't wrap at the right margin like it should, the ...

Discover More

Transposing Two Characters

If you have two characters in the wrong order, you might be interested in a shortcut you can use to switch their order. ...

Discover More

Creating a Table of Contents from Heading Levels

If your document is any length at all, adding a table of contents is a nice touch. This tip demonstrates how easy it is ...

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)

Comparing Workbooks

Do you need to compare two workbooks to each other? While you can use specialized third-party software to do the ...

Discover More

Hanging When Opening a Workbook

If you are opening a workbook and Excel seems to hang without ever fully loading, it could be due to a number of ...

Discover More

Seeing All Open Workbook Names

Ever want to see a list of all the workbooks that are open? If you open more than nine, Excel only displays the first ...

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 six more than 8?

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.