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

Intelligently Starting a New Paragraph

When using styles in a document, you can increase your productivity by letting Word know what paragraph style you expect ...

Discover More

Adding Fonts To the Context Menu

Context menus appear when you right-click on different items in Word. These menus can be edited to add items, such as ...

Discover More

Foul Water Odor

Got a foul odor coming from your water tap? It could be caused by a number of different issues, as discussed in this tip.

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Unwanted Read-Only Workbook Status

Once a workbook assumes a "read-only" status, it can be a real pain to get that status removed. This tip explains why and ...

Discover More

Opening Two Workbooks with the Same Name

If you have two workbooks that each have the same name, opening them at the same time in Excel could cause some problems. ...

Discover More

Losing Data in a Shared Workbook

When you create a shared workbook, you run the risk of losing some of the data in that workbook. Here's a discussion ...

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 eight minus 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.