You are unable to select unprotected cells in Excel


Symptoms


When you prevent a user from selecting locked cells in a protected Microsoft Excel worksheet, the user may now be unable to select any cells within ranges that you set up to allow users to edit.

Cause


This behavior occurs when you click to clear the Select Locked Cells check box (in the Protect Sheet dialog box) to prevent users from selecting any cells beyond the defined range.

Workaround


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods:
  • Do not clear the Select Locked Cells check box when you protect a worksheet:
    1. Start Excel, open your workbook, and then select the range that you want to allow access to.
    2. In Microsoft Office Excel 2007, click the Review tab, and then click Allow Users to Edit Ranges in the
      Changes group.

      In Microsoft Office Excel 2003 or in Microsoft Excel 2002, on the Tools menu, click Protection, and then click Allow Users to Edit Ranges.
    3. Click New, and then click OK.
    4. Click Protect Sheet, leave the Select Locked Cells check box selected, and then click OK.
    -or-

  • Unlock the cells to provide access to a range of cells instead of clicking to select the Allow Users to Edit Rangescheck box. To do so, follow these steps:

    1. Start Excel, open your workbook, and then select the range that you want to allow access to.
    2. In Excel 2007, click the Home tab, click Format in the Cells group, click Format Cells, and then click the Protection tab.

      In Excel 2003 or in Excel 2002, on the Format menu, click Cells, and then click the Protection tab.
    3. Click to clear the Locked check box, and then click OK.
    4. Click Protect Sheet, click to clear the Select Locked Cells check box, and then click OK.
    NOTE: This method allows all users to edit the range.

Status


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

More Information


Excel allows you to grant permissions to specific users and user groups to modify selected ranges within a protected worksheet. To make it easier to move through editable ranges, you can also disable the user's ability to select cells within the locked portion of the worksheet.