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)
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!
Lead Program Manager
Miles Wolbe commented
In the meantime, some VBA workarounds:
Autoexpand Excel Tables on Protected Sheets https://www.excel-first.com/autoexpand-excel-tables-on-protected-sheets/
Protect sheet but keep table expandable https://www.excelforum.com/excel-general/1115066-protect-sheet-but-keep-table-expandable.html#post5140971
and a neat Data Validation trick to protect cells without having to use Protect Sheet:
Protect Cells in Excel Using Data Validation https://www.accountingweb.com/technology/excel/protect-cells-in-excel-using-data-validation
Since your formulas protected via Data Validation will likely show green flag errors, hide them via File > Options > Formulas > Error checking rules > uncheck "Data entered in a table is invalid".
Simon Hurst commented
Any information on whether there is any intention to address this issue?
Any solution as yet ?
Simon Hurst commented
Any update after 3 years?
Aside from visual basic, are there any good methods for us to insert or delete rows in a protected sheet without giving up passwords to the users?
Oliver Wilcock commented
Thanks, Eckhard, for expanding the scope of what could be much better about structured tables. I've also been frustrated by data validation along with the show-stopper protected sheet issue. I didn't know the workaround you described.
I've also cursed Microsoft when trying to retrieve data through ODBC/Jet. The table is not stored as a range and Jet doesn't find it.
I've found business users very reluctant to embrace tables and I think the largest barrier is the behaviours when adding, removing and especially moving columns (cut and paste). I haven't fully wrapped my head around what it does. I know it messes up the column widths. The workaround I use is to insert a new column in the sheet and then to cut and paste the table "Entire Table Column" into the new location and then delete the unwanted sheet column. Unnecessary hassle.
"by desgin" is a euphemistic paraphrase of the fact that you [Microsoft] yourself do not believe in the high value and importance of the Structured Tables (→ ST) - or did not recognize them.
The productivity of Excel increases massively if you [Microsoft] would consistently support the possibilities of ST.
Here are a few examples of shortcomings (-) and errors (--):
- Data Validation does not refer to the columns of a table, but only to the "normal" coordinates.
(annoying workaround: Range name Lastname=StructuredTable[LastName])
Fix column (e.g. $C3* $D3) and copy to the right (Ctrl + R) must be very laborious to formulate in ST:
=StructuredTable[@[Price]:[Price]] * StructuredTable[@[Quantity]:[Quantity]]
$C3 → StructuredTable[@[Price]:[Price]]
$D3 → StructuredTable[@[Quantity]:[Quantity]]
-- Conditional format leads to crashes when applied within a ST
-- Formats (especially styles) are not reliably pulled along when the ST is extended downwards.
Miles Williams commented
This is absolutely CRITICAL!!!
But, I really think this is a MUST HAVE!
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin commented
Эй, я согласен с этим.
У меня есть лист, где у меня есть таблица с несколькими столбцами. Мне нужно убедиться, что мой пользователь никогда не изменяет определенный столбец, который содержит формулу. Я хотел бы, чтобы мой пользователь все еще мог добавлять строки в мою таблицу с помощью клавиши TAB и изменять все другие ячейки таблицы, которых нет в упомянутом столбце.
Donald Trump commented
How i wish excel solve this!
In some of our templates, we protect (or lock) the sheets using a password. This is done to prevent the user from accidentally editing/removing the formulas used. This is not done to keep the formulas secret. We give the password to the customer so that they can unprotect and edit if they are familiar with Excel and formulas.
Pavan Kumar Nookala commented
Hey, really ist a big bug in Excel. How can this be ignored.
I am an employee for Projekt-Management, I work with these Excel Sheets which involves data entry from different Clients. Either I should not involve any formulas in my unprotected Excel sheet or share the Password every time form data entry.
Please look into this.
The Problem is same for many People but most of them dont know that they can Vote and prioritize their Problem.
Dré Stevens commented
I often make tables that need to be edited by 'less expert' Excel users.
And in such a table a number of columns must be entered and other columns contain formulas that should not be affected.
The only way I can protect my formules is with a color. But that is not enough.
A protection of cells against input but which does allow us to:
- insert or delete rows
- sort or filtering
would be highly desirable.
Craig Adamson commented
How is this feature STILL not part of Excel?
I find it very irritating that Microsoft does not respond to this thread, despite the recent spike of activity in it.
I've been watching this thread for nearly two years, patiently waiting for it to be implemented. I see it now makes it onto the first page when sorting Excel User Voice Posts via the Top option. Hopefully this means the number of votes required for action is much closer now.
Excel tables have a default feature by which if we enter data in the row immediately following the last row of the table, it will auto-expand and include the new row as part of the table. This feature does not work if the sheet is protected. So, if we have a table in which the user needs to keep adding data to, we usually keep the sheet unprotected. Hope you would solve this issue to keep our formula’s safe in the new users.
I needed this for a long time. What is the status now? Any update?
Jason DAquin commented
A side note - Can we get Excel Online working the same way once this is done? I can't seem to figure out why Excel Online is missing so many features. No wonder Smartsheet is taking over.
I have the same problem. Excel should prioritize this because my users of my template keep asking for a password when they want to add some rows in the data log.