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How to hide your Excel formulas from prying eyes

Hiding the formulas in an Excel spreadsheet is similar to protecting your Excel sheets with a password, or being selective about which cells, rows, or columns you protect, but with a twist, you’re not hiding the cells, just the formulas. Once you know how to do it, it is really easy and a feature that I know you will use again and again.

The first thing to do is unlock all the cells that you really want to hide. It seems ironic, but you have to do this in Excel and then allow the cells to be hidden. By default, all cells in an Excel worksheet are actually locked in the first place. So to unlock your cells

1. Select your entire worksheet

2. Home tab

3. Format option in cell group

4. Click the Lock Cell option at the bottom second of the list of options

The lock cells actually work like an on / off button and as you can see they are initially locked by default. You will need to unlock them in the first instance to be able to use this method. If you are not sure whether they are blocked or not, you need to go directly to the bottom list and select format cells from the menu and click on the protection tab where you can see if the blocked box is checked or not. Marking is locked and a marking is not locked. Easy as that!

Congratulations, you have successfully completed Stage 1 of this process.

Let’s move on to Stage 2.

1. Highlight the cells that contain the formulas you want to hide.

2. Home tab

3. Format option in cell group

4. Protection tab

5. Check the Hidden option

6. Press ok.

At this point, you will still see your formulas, as there is one last stage to this: protecting the worksheet.

Let’s move on to Stage 3.

1. Home tab

2. Cell group format option

3. Scroll down to protection

4. Protect the blade

5. Enter a password

6. Press OK

7. Re-enter your password when prompted

Your formulas should now be hidden from prying eyes. Well done, all that hard work you put into your formulas is now protected.

Remain the Excel guru of your office once again! Go ahead and give it a try, you’ll be using it on a regular basis, I did when I discovered this Excel Top Tip.

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