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How to "copy protect" an Excel file

Posted on 2003-03-13
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I have written an Excel spreadheet that I wish to sell on eBay.  However, I'd like to have some way of copy-protecting the file to avoid rampant sharing.  I know that there's no way I'll ever be able to REALLY copy-protect the file - they can always just email it to someone.  However, I'd like suggestions on anything you think I could do to solve this problem.  ANY suggestions are much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:blumley
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Brett
ID: 8133500
Unfortunately it's wide open, especially given its a worksheet and not an excel add-in. All you can really do is make it harder for the average user to copy.

Can you make it an addin ?

The best protection method I've seen is to write code to the registry and then disable the spreadsheet if a correct serial code is not entered after a set time. It does require some decent coding to do this.


Cheers

Dave
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Accepted Solution

by:
gasmole earned 150 total points
ID: 8133713
Hi blumley
You might get some protection from entering a Password to Open when you save the file and sell the password along with the spreadsheet.  This wouldn't stop people giving away the password with spreadsheet.  In addition to this you could disable the save as function for the spreadsheet so someone could not just save the file without a password without putting some work into it.  Also password protect any code in visual basic.
gasmole
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Author Comment

by:blumley
ID: 8133808
I guess that's about as good as it gets then...  Thanks, folks.
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Author Comment

by:blumley
ID: 8133809
Thanks, gasmole.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Brett
ID: 8134123
Normally blumley you would leave a question like this open for a longer period to gather as much advice and ideas as possible.

BTW, Protecting the contents will provive some degree of protection against people from altering what's inside the spreadsheet but it will do nothing to stop unauthorised use

Cheers

Dave
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Expert Comment

by:gasmole
ID: 8136114
Hi blumley
Thanks for the points.
You might have gotten a better idea if you left the question open for a longer period.
gasmole
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Expert Comment

by:timmcqueen
ID: 24829730
All excel built in security and protection can be simply bypassed using third party tools (Like Excel password Recovery and ... )

You must use third party security providers like XCell Compiler or Office Security OwnerGuard.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Brett
ID: 24829759
this thread was closed 6 years ago ......
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