Remove the lock symbols from the tabs of protected sheets
Microsoft appears to have added this as a new 'feature' in Version 2006 (Build 13001.20266 Click-to-Run) and it's a disaster. For a workbook with a large number of protected sheets the visibility of sheet tabs is reduced by ~ 30%, thereby greatly reducing user-friendliness and the ability to navigate around the workbook using sheet tabs.
I've attached a screen grab of a basic model containing protected sheets which has lost visibility of at least 3 sheet tabs as a result of the unnecessary and unwanted lock symbols on almost every sheet.
This 'feature' needs to be removed or made optional and OFF by default.
Hi All, We apologize for being slow to engage on this thread. We are listening to your feedback and we really do care. After reading the comments here as well as the feedback sent from within Excel, we have decided to remove the lock icon from Excel on Windows for the time-being. Since it’s not new to the other platforms (web, Mac and mobile) and we haven’t had similar feedback about it there, we won’t change those for now. We’ll consider how best to get consistency across the desktop, web, and mobile apps, and we’ll share updates if we have any additional next steps.
We appreciate all the suggestions for alternative ways of indicating that a sheet is protected, and will take them into account.
Thanks for all your feedback.
Steve [Microsoft Excel]
So if we liked the lock symbol we can't get it back?
Thank you, Steve.
I noticed that the lock symbol was missing today; I can now see all my tabs.
I understand there are some users who like the lock symbol. I believe if a visual indication to show which tabs are locked is desirable, an unobtrusive solution would be acceptable to all. I think a simple underline would solve the problem and make everyone happy.
+1 to add this back and an option. I opened a 40 tab, shared workbook this morning and was horrified by the thought that all of them had been unprotected. Fortunately this proved not to be the case but I was absolutely reliant on the padlock icon for quick verification.
THANK YOU for removing that horrible lock symbol. I know some few people liked it, but most did not. One idea that's been batted around on this thread is an underline or some other innocuous and unobtrusive hint that the tab has been locked. Just as an option, you understand.
I like having the lock icon on the tabs and was disappointed this morning when I saw it was gone. I agree this should made an option as it seems split between people wanting it or not.
That took quite a while, but thank you.
More often than not software development seems to follow Henry Ford's comment on the Model T "You can have any color as long as it's black". Hence, the feature is available or not available.
Did you prefer the square command bars over the Ribbon; square buttons over round ones in the iPhone's dial pad, etc.? Tough luck ... you don't get to choose!
I guess it's much easier to roll-back the change than it is to come to a conclusion on where to present the setting: Ribbon or Options? If Ribbon: which tab?, which group?, which control type (button/checkbox/...)? If Options: which part (general or advanced)?, etc.
One exception to the "rule" above is the, by many, beloved dark mode. The thing that, all of a sudden, is a must-have. I don't know how we managed decades without it?
I liked having the lock icon show on the tab, it's easier to see which sheets are locked at a glance. Could the feature be activated/deactivated by the user in the options menu instead?
Glad to see it's been removed.
If some like it why not an option.
Can be just another option on the tab itself?
Richard Sterry commented
Thank you Steve. I appreciate your reply and explanation.
This needs to be available but as an option. I just was trying to audit some sheets that needed changes in formatting and was protecting the sheets that I was done with and relying on the lock to tell me which ones I had finished. It was unsuccessful as the lock is now gone.
I can see where some people would not like this feature, but I loved it (although it was a distraction when it first appeared). Making this a configurable option would give the best of both worlds.
Well we liked it...so how do we get it back...
Thank you Steve. I have Excel on my personal machine and one that I administer. I note that on both machines the lock has disappeared - looks more aesthetic.
I like the lock icon feature, as I often have to quickly look to see which sheets are protected.
Option for ON would be great.
I thought the lock was a great easy way to see which tabs were locked. Could it be provided as an option for those who would like to have it?
Michael Hutchens commented
Thanks Steve this is very reassuring.
Just for the record, I think most users taking issue with the lock icons would be happy with a workbook-level option to turn them off, even if they're displayed by default in new workbooks. It's just not having the option which, in some spreadsheets, really hurts as it impacts usability.
Thanks again. M.
Robert Turner commented
Thanks Steve[Microsoft Excel] for actioning
Good decision. Thanks for replying.
Michael Hutchens commented
I've reached out to a few of the engineers in the Excel team and one of them actually replied to me this week and said that the team is discussing this issue.
It's just very strange that they're not joining this discussion as the original feature change was put through based on a suggestion with only 10 votes and dozens of comments arguing against the suggestion.
Fingers crossed it at least becomes an optional feature soon...
Dave L commented
Feels like they are treating us like pond life.