Protecting cell formatting but allowing edits to values

New Contributor

I am building an Excel tool for use by many people. I would like to protect the cell formatting while allowing the users to change the values of these same cells.  Is this possible?

3 Replies


Step 1:

Select all the cells whose values the users should be able to edit.

Press Ctrl+1 to activate the Format Cells dialog.

  • Activate the Protection tab.
  • Clear the Locked check box.
  • Click OK.

Step 2:

  • Activate the Review tab of the ribbon.
  • Click 'Protect Sheet'.
  • If you want to specify a password needed to unprotect the sheet, enter it. Do not forget it!
  • Click OK. If you specified a password, you will be asked to enter it again as confirmation.

Yes thanks - this allows me to lock parts of a worksheet and allow editing to other parts, but I don't think this allows me to protect the formatting of the cells I want to allow the users to edit.@Hans Vogelaar.


For example in the area where I want to allow the user to edit the cell (say change a 5 to a 6), I do not want the user to override my conditional formatting or data validation.



Users won't be able to modify conditional formatting and data validation directly, but they can overwrite it by copying/pasting from elsewhere.

It is difficult to prevent this; it's best to educate users not to use the standard Paste (or Ctrl+V) but to Paste Special as Values only.