how do i modify a locked excel spreadsheet

how do I modify a locked excel spreadsheet?
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You have to unlock it first.

Tools>Protection>Unprotect sheet or Unprotect workbook, depending on what has been protected and what you want to do.(XL2003 and earlier, for xl2010 it's the Review tab))

If a password has been applied then you need to supply the password to unlock it.
To modify a locked excel sheet you will need to be able to unlock it.

If it is locked with a password and you do not know this password try one of the following solutions:

I would try the Google Docs solution - as it seems the easiest.

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You must unlock the sheet:
Tools>Protection>Unprotect sheet or Unprotect workbook

However, after it is unlocked you can then Unlock specific cells in the Format Cell dialog.

Highlight the cells you want to make editable
Format Cells
On the PROTECTION tab uncheck LOCKED

If you then re-apply the sheet/workbook protection the cells that you need to edit will remain unlocked. That way you can modify the cells you need without risking changes to any cells containing Formulas.
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