Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible to disallow saving an Excel (.xls) file? (Should also work in Numbers on OSX)

share|improve this question

migrated from Mar 1 '11 at 12:19

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

It would help is you further explain the situation. Do yo mean protecting an existing spreadsheet from change? – surfasb Mar 1 '11 at 12:33
What's the purpose of not allowing a save? Using a password can help, but can be cracked. Do you want the users to manipulate cells, enter formulas, etc. just not save? Or is it just for them to look at, and you don't want anyone saving accidentally after editing? If the latter, maybe just print to PDF/some other non-editable format? Make sure this question isn't "creating" an XY Problem. – BruceWayne Feb 12 at 21:10

As in change it so it is read only, you mean? You can do that with a password if I'm not mistaken.

But disallow saving - I don't see the point - someone could always copy the file.

share|improve this answer

You could have a macro on the Before_Save event, but circumventing it only means disabling macros.

       ThisWorkbook.Close savechanges:=False

If you forced macros to be enabled to even view the content that might help, but won't ensure not saving. Chip Pearson's site has some interesting TimeBombRegistry code you might adapt

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.