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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)

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Zack Barresse shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
Accepting Votes  ·  AdminExcel Team [MSFT] (Admin, responded  · 

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!


Ashvini Sharma
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  • vicky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Additionally, this seems like it's been an issue in several versions of Excel

  • vicky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When protecting sheets, the only way to allow sorting/filtering is to have the cells that you want to sort/filter unlocked which allows users to edit the information in those cells. Ideally, there would be a way to lock the cell formulas while still allowing the cells to be filtered or sorted.

  • Simon Hurst commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Add rows to Table on protected sheet

    A good starting point would be just to allow rows to be added to Tables when a sheet is protected, with the other cell locking functionality working in Table cells in the same way as non-Table cells. As Jon says in his original proposal, the absolute inability to add a row to a Table on a protected sheet makes it impossible to use cell locking and protection with a Table. Fiddling about with how formulae are created as suggested by anonymous is no solution at all as it does nothing to stop someone deleting or overwriting the formula/range name.

    I am sure these things are never as simple as they seem, but an added 'Protect Sheet, Allow all users of this worksheet to:' option to 'Add rows to a Table' would be a substantial step forward.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    A solution to aid security of formulas against inadvertent or deliberate editing, is to create the formula as a named range. Benefits are:
    1 when you want to edit a formula, it is done only in NamedRanges
    2 the edit automatically updates or refreshes all instances of its use by default
    3 build complex formulas in stages by nesting another NamedRange in your formula
    4 use a NamedRange to create a parameter for use in more than one formula

    Oz's data entry proposal is in essence use of a Table specifically for data entry (copy/paste can easily be used). All logic is written in a Table specifically reserved for calculation, data is of course pulled in by look ups to data entry Tables. Results can then be presented in a report format created in its own worksheet.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Say if you enter a formula in a cell. The formula refers to a cell that is part of a table. Now you want to copy the formula in adjacent cells by handle-drag. BUT you need to lock the referred cell (either row, or column, or both). Currently you can't do so!

  • Kenneth Barber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It should be possible to have the formulas of a table column protected as a whole. This way, a user can delete a row containing a formula, but they would not be allowed to modify the formula.

  • Shirley Moreman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is definitely something which needs fixing. I use tables in a lot of solutions and always have to resort to VBA workarounds (which even then are not foolproof) to protect the formulas.

  • Kenneth Barber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I've read most of what is on this site. Your post is indeed the first of its kind. I would vote for it if I had votes left. :\

  • Doug Glancy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'm fairly late to this site, so let me know if this specific request was already made. I searched and found more general things but not this.

  • Doug Glancy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'd like to be able to lock some cells in a structured table, protect the sheet and still be able to insert rows with the Insert command, add rows by tabbing past the end of the table, and delete rows. This would be very useful in making more foolproof user interfaces.

    As it is now, it's risky to use a table for user data entry because if you want them to be able to add rows you have to leave formulas unprotected. (Or use VBA).

  • Oz du Soleil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We need a way to partially protect tables.

    Lots of times--especially when developing a tool for someone else--it's necessary to have complex formulas next to empty cells for new entries.

    Some of the end users are terrified of the possibility of accidentally typing over a formula that they won't be able to fix.

    My solution has been to create a form and use VBA to move new data over to a sheet where the table lives. Writing VBA is a hassle because then I have to consider things like: "what if the user changes the name of a worksheet?"

    But that's the solution because a table can't be partially protected.

  • Andreas Thehos commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This would be a really helpful change.
    We use to protect Sheets, but it would be great, if you could add new rows at the end of a table by using tab. So you would protect the shape (maybe the formulas, too) of a table, but could select:
    - edit all rows
    - just add new rows
    - edit or protect formulas


  • Gary commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is a great idea. Unfortunately I'm out of votes so I can't support this.

  • Zack Barresse commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The problem goes much deeper than just sorting. Even inserting rows is impossible on a Table with sheet protection turned on. Good idea!

  • Dave S. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When a table is protected, including the cells within it, checking "Allow Sorting" does not allow the table to be sorted without various VBA workarounds.

    Please add an option to the user-interface protection checklist that would allow sorting in protected tables.

  • Jon von der Heyden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I love tables! My references are dynamic. Filters are present. Formula's auto-fill down. Presentation is improved. My formulas are more intuitive when being audited.

    I would like to be able to support tables properly when sheet protection is enabled. I mean the full set of table out-of-the-box functionality. At the moment protection really does render useless all of the goodness that tables have to offer.

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