In this article, we will learn How to highlight unprotected cells in Excel.
Excel gives you the feature of protecting certain cells in unprotected sheets. Excel locks those cells and doesn't let any unidentified user edit values. As a user who doesn't have access to protected cells faces problems like using the sheet not knowing which cells are editable. So this article guides you how to protect or unprotect cells. And how to highlight cells which are unprotected. It would be difficult to see various trends just for examining your Excel worksheet. Let's understand below how conditional formatting catches unprotected cells.
How to solve the problem?
For this, we will be using the Conditional Formatting and CELL function in Excel. Cell function in Excel stores all the data of a referenced cell and returns the info_type of the cell. Here type of information we are looking for is "PROTECT". We will be using the generic formula under the conditional formatting option named Use a formula to determine which cells to format. Generic formula and example is explained below.
CELL function returns 1 if the cell is locked or 0 if unlocked
cell_ref : reference cell to check
=0 : value to check with
All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand this formula using it with one example shown below. Here we have some values and we need to first protect some cells and see the difference between protected ones and unprotected ones.
To protect cells in excel, we select the cells and right click on the any selected cell -> select Format cell as shown below.
A dialog box appears, select Protection and tick the Locked box if you want to lock or untick to unlock as shown below.
As you can see, we know how to protect cells or how to unprotect cells in excel. It's difficult to see various cells having protected and unprotected cells. Now we wanted to highlight cells which are unprotected.
Select the cell. Go to Home -> Conditional formatting -> New Rule
A dialog box appears in front select Use a formula to determine which cells to format -> input the below formula under the Format values where this formula is True:
Use the formula:
As you can see from the above snapshot, we obtained all the values highlighted with green color for the unprotected cells. Now copy the formula format for other values using the shortcut Ctrl + D or dragging down cell from the right bottom corner.
As you can see the formula changes the format of the cells only where the cell is unprotected. Now you can get the whole sheet differentiated on the basis of protected and unprotected cells. Use =1 in-place of =0 if you want to change the format of protected ones. Conditional Formatting provides a way to visualize data and make worksheets easier to understand.
Here are all the observational notes regarding using the formula.
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How to Protect an Excel Sheet : do not let the user make any change to some certain sheet. Protect or lock sheets in Excel under Review section explained here.
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Protect and Unprotect Excel Workbooks : To protect excel workbooks with a password with a read-only option or to put opening restrictions use the method explained here.
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