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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Get Tables working on protected sheets (add rows, sort, filter, etc.)

I would like to be able to, under the right circumstances, have the ability to add/remove rows of a table which resides on a protected sheet.

Currently if you protect a sheet you can't insert/delete rows of a table. Even if you unprotect all cells and allow inserting/deleting of rows on sheet protection, it doesn't matter and is completely ignored.

What I am proposing would have to follow specific rules:

* Table cells would have to be unprotected
* Cells below table would have to be unprotected (truly optional † )
* Insert Rows would have to be specified in sheet protection

† The way table rows are inserted is different than a standard row insert. If there are blank rows below the table it will "consume" those rows, and not shift things down. If there is data below the table, once it consumes all rows between the two, it will start inserting. This mechanism would make the second item above optional depending on how you [Microsoft] would handle this internally. My preference would be to have the cells unlocked, and honor the protection status of the cell, and not overwrite, or "consume" if there is space available.

This has been BROKEN for some time. Since we can ALREADY do this with standard cells, it should ALSO work for tables. This request has come up multiple times, and has previously been rejected as "BY DESIGN", but I'm here to tell you - and I'm an expert - this is not by design, and is a bug which has been overlooked and should be fixed.

(2016-12-07 Dan B [MS]: updated title to capture the actual ask here, which is to make Tables work better on protected sheets; currently, since protected sheets were built "before" Tables, they don't work well with "Tables" or objects that adjust/expand within the grid as users interact with them)

843 votes
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Zack Barresse shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Thanks for logging this great suggestion, Zack, and to others for voting it up. We’ll prioritize this according to the number of votes, so if there’s more interest, please make sure to register your vote!

Thanks

Ashvini Sharma
Lead Program Manager
Excel

137 comments

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    There might be some concern that this would trespass on the domain of Access, and make Excel able to work even more like a database. This could reduce the demand for Access or the SQL Exchange stuff. I pay for Office. If Excel and Access were one programme, I'd pay more. Just saying.

  • Oz Oscroft commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As a business, we rely on templates which users cannot change (using sheet protection). We also use tables to make our spreadsheets far more efficient. Adding this functionality is vital so please could you provide an update.

  • James Denman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This has become significantly more acute since the introduction of Power Query. PQ is so powerful, but when you want to use a PQ result (in a table, of course) in a sheet which needs to be published to users and protected from them messing around with it, then... you're screwed. It's not as if the need to protect worksheets is going to go away, nor the usefulness of PQ; and there's already a protection option to let users use PivotTables.
    Time for MS to fix this.

  • Ron commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Re: Simon Hurst commented · May 16, 2019 11:50 PM ·
    <snip>
    Presumably there is no progress on this because the Access team have forbidden the Excel team from dealing with this very significant flaw in case it means that Excel can be used for basic database stuff rather than using a proper database.
    </snip>
    I don't think that is a problem. PowerPivot and DataManager give Excel lots of DB functionality. And take a look at the FREE download PowerBI. It too does a lot of DB "functions".

  • Alexis Taylor commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "Does it also go without saying that you should be able to lock cells in a column of a table in such a way that extending the column extends the cells which are locked?"

    - Yes please.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Does it also go without saying that you should be able to lock cells in a column of a table in such a way that extending the column extends the cells which are locked?

  • Malcolm commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Given that Power Pivot is becoming an ever more promoted part of Excel and Power Pivots and queries often depend in user input tables, it is absolutely mind-boggling surprising that this gross oversight has not been fixed.

  • Simon Hurst commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Well anonymous, I might have done, had not 126 previous comments and 800 odd votes demonstrated the futility of that approach...

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Why dont you keep your souped-up speculation to yourself and concentrate your energies on promoting this User Voice vote instead? What a ridiculous notion you concoct. There are already much better database functionality in the Excel power query functionality.

  • Simon Hurst commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Presumably there is no progress on this because the Access team have forbidden the Excel team from dealing with this very significant flaw in case it means that Excel can be used for basic database stuff rather than using a proper database.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's likely that the reason you're locking the worksheet is that you're trying to protect formulas from accidentally being overwritten during data entry.

    I've a number of applications wherein I use tables to collect data in columns and perform calculations on that data in other other columns. Need a way to add a new row to the table (for new data) replicate the formulas, allow a user to enter data while not allowing them to overwrite the replicated formulas on that new line.

  • Yatin Purohit commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Sometimes it is not just a count of votes. Some features are required to build complex solutions. These may not be "popular" requirements fetching more votes. This is one of them. Not having this feature hampers building Excel forms (with SharePoint) in enterprise scenarios.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Tables are great but are not growing when their sheet is protected.
    Conditional formatting is great but get messed-up directly by copy-paste unless the sheet is protected.
    Conclusion: Tables must be allowed to grow in protected sheet to get both great functions of excel working together.
    Please fix this, it’s a real must!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The post below did not work for me. In general, this is a GROSS OVERSIGHT not to consider Format as Table... feature in Protected sheets. Very common business requirement when creating any kind of form is to lock cells and formatting while allowing users to populate table.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi all,

    A work around which I found was to make the table an 'editable range' in the review tab and making all of the columns in the table unlocked, other than the columns involving formulas.

    Then, when protecting the sheet, ensure that 'Select locked cells' is unticked - this will unfortunately mean that the users will not be able to select or see the formulas but will allow you to sort the table.

    Useful related link: https://amazingexcel.com/allow-user-to-edit-a-specific-range-cells-in-protected-sheet/

    (Although there may be a better link/ how to out there!)

    Hope this helps anyone still struggling.

  • jeffrey Weir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agree with the comment below...the lack of any response on this thread (and generally across this forum) is VERY disappointing compared to the kind of engagement we see from PMs over at the PowerBI Ideas forum. Charles Sterling is rightly proud of the level of engagement his team provides over at PowerBI Ideas. The silence here is just deafening by comparison.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Give up folks! After 752 votes from 2016 and only one response from Microsoft 18 months ago it isn't going to happen. Find the best workaround that you can. Horton hears a Who... Microsoft hears nothing.
    In comparison, I employ the services of a software company in St Petersburg that respond to every email, rectify bugs and actually listen and act to customer requests immediately. Different world... the real world. Sad that Microsoft can't use the same philosophy, no matter how big and how much control they perceive to have.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    hey, OMISSION, that's a big word, how about calling it an OM, nice and short. Meaning code that should have been written to do something that everyone thinks should have been done by now that hasn't been written yet. Hey MS, sort this OM, now.

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