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

I have an Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet that I want to share with my team on a read-only basis; I want to prevent them from modifying it, so that I keep control of changes.

It's quite large, and I've grouped detail columns up, so that they can be easily hidden or revealed as necessary.

When I protect the spreadsheet, the grouping controls (the +/- buttons above the grouped columns) stop working; I want my team to be able to use them, so they can reveal the level of detail they want to see.

For many worksheet functions, you can unprotect them by checking a checkbox in the "Protect Sheet" dialog that appears in the protection process. There isn't a checkbox to unprotect the grouping controls.
How can I do it?

share|improve this question

I believe the only way you can do this is if you protect the sheet using VBA when the workbook is opened (Workbook_Open event).

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    With Sheet1
       Call .Protect("MyPassword", , , , True)
       .EnableOutlining = True
    End With
End Sub
share|improve this answer
If you want to be more explicit with your .protect line, that is equivalent to .Protect Password:="MyPassword", UserInterfaceOnly:=True – waternova Oct 2 '14 at 23:29

Your Answer


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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.