Skip to main content

How to protect worksheet's formatting only in Excel?

Most of us may know how to protect worksheet contents not to be changed, but here, I want others can be able to change the cell values or type in numbers or text, but not mess up the cell formatting which I have applied, such as the Fonts, Background colors and so on. How do you protect the formatting of the worksheet without regarding for the contents?

Protect formatting of the worksheet with Excel feature

Supposing I have applied the formatting to the range cells as following screenshot shows, and now I will talk about how to protect worksheet's formatting only step by step:

1. Select the range cells that you want others to be able to edit, and then right click and choose Format Cells from the context menu, see screenshot:

2. In the Format Cells dialog box, click Protection tab, and uncheck the Locked option. See screenshot:

3. Click OK to close the dialog box.

4. If you need to allow others to edit multiple ranges in this worksheet, please repeat above step 1-4 as you need.

5. Go on to click Review > Protect Sheet to protect the worksheet, see screenshot:

6. And in the popped out dialog box, make sure the Format cells is unchecked (it is not checked by default), and you needn't change any information in the dialog box, see screenshot:
doc protect format 4

7. Then click OK, and all the selected cells content can be edited as your need, but the cell formatting can't be modified.

Note: If you want to set a password to protect the sheet, you can enter the password as your need, but if you needn't, just only click OK button in the Protect Sheet dialog box.

Protect worksheet's formatting only with Kutools for Excel

If you have Kutools for Excel installed, you can simplify steps to protect current worksheet’s formatting only. Please do as follows:

Kutools for Excel - Packed with over 300 essential tools for Excel. Enjoy a full-featured 30-day FREE trial with no credit card required! Download now!

1. Select multiple ranges that you will allow other to edit, and click the Kutools Plus > Worksheet Design to activate the Design tab, and then click the Unlock Cells button on the Design tab. See screenshot:
Note: Holding the Ctrl keys, you can select multiple non-adjacent ranges by selecting one by one.
doc protect format 1

doc worksheet design unlock cells

Then a dialog box pops out and reminders you selected ranges have been unlocked. Just close it.

2. Click the Design > Protect Sheet or (Review > Protect Sheet) to protect current worksheet.

3. In the opening Protect Sheet dialog box, enter your password, and remember not to check the Format Cells option, and click the OK button. Next reenter your password in the Confirm Password dialog box, and click the OK button.
doc protect format 4

Kutools for Excel - Supercharge Excel with over 300 essential tools. Enjoy a full-featured 30-day FREE trial with no credit card required! Get It Now

Demo: protect worksheet’s formatting only in Excel

Kutools for Excel: Over 300 handy tools at your fingertips! Start your 30-day free trial with no feature limitations today. Download Now!

Quickly mass password protect multiple/all worksheets in Excel

Normally Excel's Protect Sheet feature can only protect active sheet. However, Kutools for Excel's Protect Worksheet utility enables to mass protect multiple (or all) worksheets with same password by only 2 steps.

protect multiple sheets

Kutools for Excel - Supercharge Excel with over 300 essential tools. Enjoy a full-featured 30-day FREE trial with no credit card required! Get It Now

Best Office Productivity Tools

Popular Features: Find, Highlight or Identify Duplicates   |  Delete Blank Rows   |  Combine Columns or Cells without Losing Data   |   Round without Formula ...
Super Lookup: Multiple Criteria VLookup    Multiple Value VLookup  |   VLookup Across Multiple Sheets   |   Fuzzy Lookup ....
Advanced Drop-down List: Quickly Create Drop Down List   |  Dependent Drop Down List   |  Multi-select Drop Down List ....
Column Manager: Add a Specific Number of Columns  |  Move Columns  |  Toggle Visibility Status of Hidden Columns  |  Compare Ranges & Columns ...
Featured Features: Grid Focus   |  Design View   |   Big Formula Bar    Workbook & Sheet Manager   |  Resource Library (Auto Text)   |  Date Picker   |  Combine Worksheets   |  Encrypt/Decrypt Cells    Send Emails by List   |  Super Filter   |   Special Filter (filter bold/italic/strikethrough...) ...
Top 15 Toolsets12 Text Tools (Add Text, Remove Characters, ...)   |   50+ Chart Types (Gantt Chart, ...)   |   40+ Practical Formulas (Calculate age based on birthday, ...)   |   19 Insertion Tools (Insert QR Code, Insert Picture from Path, ...)   |   12 Conversion Tools (Numbers to Words, Currency Conversion, ...)   |   7 Merge & Split Tools (Advanced Combine Rows, Split Cells, ...)   |   ... and more

Supercharge Your Excel Skills with Kutools for Excel, and Experience Efficiency Like Never Before. Kutools for Excel Offers Over 300 Advanced Features to Boost Productivity and Save Time.  Click Here to Get The Feature You Need The Most...

kte tab 201905

Office Tab Brings Tabbed interface to Office, and Make Your Work Much Easier

  • Enable tabbed editing and reading in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Visio and Project.
  • Open and create multiple documents in new tabs of the same window, rather than in new windows.
  • Increases your productivity by 50%, and reduces hundreds of mouse clicks for you every day!
Comments (5)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Sorry, this is not fool proof. If you do the above (through Excel Feature) the formatting is not protected from the cut and paste feature. ex. if you have a row which has a light gray back ground and you cut it and paste it into a white row, the gray background is transferred to the new cells in place of the white.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This also doesn't work if a user enters a currency symbol in the cell. Excel will automatically change the cell's formatting to currency without asking you and no way to prevent it. Even data validation ignores input of currency symbols when instructed to allow numbers only.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I followed your instructions for protecting the formatting of a worksheet in excel, but it won't let me refresh the pivot table if the worksheet is protected. I have to un-protect it to refresh and then all my formatting is changed. How do I keep the formatting and be able to refresh the worksheet?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
It does not work when you copy into the cell. Formatting is replaced.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is my problem - I want to make a tool that people can paste data into without messing up the formatting. Editable cells are light yellow and have conditional formatting and whatnot. Maybe a macro event can force a paste values or something... it's either that or a macro that replaces the correct formatting after any value change.
There are no comments posted here yet
Please leave your comments in English
Posting as Guest
Rate this post:
0   Characters
Suggested Locations