Open Read-Only in Excel

Please don't hate me! I only use Excel because they make me and I substitute Calc for Excel whenever I can. Ok, with that off my chest I'll tell you the tale of my latest battle with Excel. Seriously, people use this thing and like it?

We use a number of spreadsheets at work for keeping track of IP addresses and the like. By default Excel locks an open spreadsheet so that others who open it can only do so read-only. Well, most of the time I'm looking up information and not changing it, so it would be better the other way around. With a little googling I figured out the commands for adding a shell option to open a spreadsheet read-only.

I have only tested this with Windows XP and Office 2000 so YMMV.

  1. In Windows Explorer click Tools->Folder Options
  2. Click on the File Types tab
  3. Find XLS in the list (conveniently near the bottom)
  4. Click Advanced
  5. Create a new Action
    • Action: Open Read Only
    • Application: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\EXCEL.EXE" /e %1
    • Use DDE: true
    • DDE Message: [open("%1",,TRUE)]
    • Application: Excel
    • Topic: system

I have also attached a Registry patch that consolidates those actions.


Subscribe to Comments for "Open Read-Only in Excel" Subscribe to - All comments