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How to protect cell formatting but only allow data entry in Excel?

In many cases, you may need to protect the formatting of a range of cells and only allow data entry in Excel. This article provides three methods to achieve it.

Protect cell formatting but only allow data entry by protecting worksheet

Protect cell formatting but only allow data entry with Kutools for Excel

Protect cell formatting but only allow data entry with VBA code

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arrow blue right bubble Protect cell formatting but only allow data entry by protecting worksheet


For protecting cell formatting but only allow data entry, you need to unlock these cells firstly, and then protect the worksheet. Please do as follows.

1. Select the cells you need to protect their formatting but only allow data entry, then press Ctrl + 1 keys simultaneously to open the Format Cells dialog box.

2. In the Format Cells dialog box, uncheck the Locked box under the Protection tab, and then click the OK button. See screenshot:

3. Now go to click Review > Protect Sheet.

4. Please specify and conform your password in the Protect Sheet and Confirm Password dialog boxes. See screenshot:

Now the worksheet is protected, and the cell formatting is not changed. But the specified cells are allowed data entry only.


arrow blue right bubble Protect cell formatting but only allow data entry with Kutools for Excel

You can easily unlock selected cells and protect worksheet with the Worksheet Design utility of Kutools for Excel.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days.

1. Click Enterprise > Worksheet Design to activate the Design tab.

2. Select the cells you need to protect their formatting but only allow data entry, click Selection Unlock under the Design tab, and then click the OK button in the popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box. See screenshot:

3. Click the Protect Sheet button under the Design tab.

4. And then specify and conform your password in the Protect Sheet and Confirm Password dialog boxes. See screenshot:

Now the worksheet is protected. And the specified cells are allowed data entry only.

Tip.If you want to have a free trial of this utility, please go to download the software freely first, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.


arrow blue right bubble Protect cell formatting but only allow data entry with VBA code

You can also run the following VBA script to protect cell formatting but only allow data entry in Excel. Please do as follows.

1. Press Alt + F11 keys at the same time to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, double click ThisWorkbook on the Project pane, and then copy and paste the below VBA code into the ThisWorkbook (Code) window.

VBA code: Protect cell formatting but only allow data entry

Sub AllowDataEntryOnly()
    ActiveSheet.Protect Userinterfaceonly:=True, AllowFiltering:=True
    Range("C2:C20").Locked = False
        MsgBox "Only allow data entry in range C2:C20", vbInformation, "Kutools for Excel"
End Sub

Note: In the code, C2:C20 is the range which the cells you just allow data entry. Please change the range based on your needs.

3. Press the F5 key to run the code. In a popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box, click the OK button.

Now the worksheet is protected as well as the cell formatting. And only the specified cells are allowed data entry.


arrow blue right bubbleRelated article:


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Willnes · 2 months ago
    Hi, Thank you for the code, it was very useful. I was wondering if you could put in a part where the supervisor could enter a code so that they could edit the formatting and then locking it again without having to delete the code every time this is needed.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    kristen · 5 months ago
    I followed the directions, but was not able to enter data into the locked cells as mentioned in the instructions. Anyone have a solution?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 3 months ago
      Hi kristen,
      For a protected worksheet, you can only enter data into the unlocked cells.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Nixi · 5 months ago
    It is any way that you can lock the cells for the formulas and allow input data only? With regular excel not having enterprise
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Matt · 1 years ago
    The "Protecting Worksheet" instructions do not lock the formatting. If you copy cells in normally the formatting is copied over with them.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Ibrahim · 1 months ago
      Please let us know if found a solution for this specific case.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      cameron · 8 months ago
      agreed.... did you find any other solution to this anywhere?