Software

Office challenge: How would you restrict users to a specific range in an Excel sheet?

Here's the solution to last week's vexing Word challenge, along with a new Excel challenge.

estricting users to specific cells or a range is a good idea. You can do so by  protecting the sheet, but that feature can be a bit complicated if all you want to do is restrict users to a single range. If you wanted to restrict users to a specific range in an Excel sheet but didn't want to fool with the protection feature, what would you do? Last week we asked… A Word document suddenly stops responding to a double-click in Windows Explorer (this usually opens the document). What can you do to fix the problem? Most of you suggested resetting the file association, which is a good place to start. Sometimes, you get lucky! Thanks to Melekali for sharing the instructions for resetting a file's association:

  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click the file.
  2. Choose Properties.
  3. On the General tab, click Change (to the right of the Opens With option).
  4. Choose Microsoft Office Word in the Programs list.
  5. Click OK twice.
In most cases, this quick fix will do the trick. A few of you suggested that the Normal.dot file (the template) might be corrupt. When you suspect that's the case, delete Normal.dot and open Word. Doing so will force Word to create a new Normal.dot file. It sounds simple, but you'll lose any custom features and macros you've added to the template. That's why backups are so important. Every time you change Normal.dot, be sure to store a copy in a safe place. If you have to delete the template, do so, and then replace it with a copy of the uncorrupted backup file. (Note to self: Make a new backup copy of Normal.dot.) Here's a quick hint: If double-clicking a file opens Word, but not the document, the association is probably fine; the file is the problem. On the other hand, it never hurts to clean up Word's references a bit. (Make sure you back up your registry before trying this approach.) First, run the following command via Windows' Run or Command prompt:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\winword.exe" /unregserver 
The quotes are required, and you'll need to update the path to reflect your system. (Use Search to find winword.exe if necessary.) The /unregserver switch removes Word references from the registry. To rewrite Word's default registry values, run the following command immediately after running the above command: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\winword.exe" /regserver Now, if that doesn't work and you've replaced Normal.dot, run the Detect And Repair utility. You'll find it on Word's Help menu. Don't change the default settings and click Start when prompted. You might need your installation CD handy. The truth is, I've never had Detect And Repair fix a thing, so let's move on. If the double-click still isn't working, it's possible that Word is just confused in regard to its New and Open commands. To correct this problem, complete the following steps:

  1. Open Word.
  2. Open Windows Explorer (leave Word open).
  3. Choose Folder Options from the Tools menu in Windows Explorer.
  4. Click the File Types tab.
  5. Select the appropriate file type from the Registered File Types list (.doc or .docx, in this case).

  1. If necessary, click Restore and then click Advanced. (Restore won't always be available.)
  2. In the Edit File Type dialog box, double-click Open in the Actions list.
  3. Make sure the Action control contains the setting &Open.
  4. The Application Used To Perform Action should contain the following path: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\winword.exe" /n /dde (allowing for adjustments for your system).
  5. The Use DDE option should be checked.
  6. The Application setting should be WinWord, and the Topic setting should be System.

  1. Click OK twice and then click Close.
As you can see, there are a number of possible solutions. Start with the most obvious, and fortunately, the easiest possibility — the file association.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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