Open as Read-Only Prompt in Excel

Microsoft designed Excel with an optional feature that prompts users to view a workbook in a read-only mode and save edits under a different file name. Many business owners and administrators prefer this option as it helps protect original workbook files and templates from permanent changes. You can also set up password prompts to open a file in read-only mode, write to the original file or both. Getting Excel to prompt with a read-only recommended message or password field is a straightforward process requiring little more than learning the location for these settings.

1. Open the workbook you want to save with a read-only prompt.

2. Click the “File” tab on the ribbon and select “Save As” from the menu to open the Save As dialog box.

3. Click the “Tools” button and select “General Options” from the drop-down menu to open the General Options dialog box.

4. Click the box next to the “Read-only recommended” option. When someone accesses the file, Excel will display a prompt advising the user that the workbook should be opened as read-only unless changes are necessary.

5. Add passwords if you want Excel to prompt for a password before allowing a user to open or modify the workbook file. If you want Excel to prompt for a password to open the file, enter a password in the “Password to open:” field. If you want Excel to prompt for write access, enter a password in the “Password to modify:” field.

6. Click the “OK” button to close the dialog box and then click “Save” to save the file with the changes. If you entered one or both passwords, click “OK,” re-enter the password or passwords when prompted, click “OK” again and then click the “Save” button.