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Microsoft KB Archive/172035

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 172035

Article Last Modified on 10/22/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q172035


In Microsoft Excel 97, if you cut and paste or drag a range of cells from one worksheet to another worksheet, you may receive the following error message:

The cell or chart you are trying to change is protected and therefore read-only.

To modify a protected cell or chart, first remove protection using the Unprotect Sheet command (Tools menu, Protection submenu). You may be prompted for a password.

When you click OK, merged cells in the destination worksheet may become unmerged. If you click the Edit menu, you cannot undo the operation.


This problem occurs if the following conditions are true:

  • You cut and paste or drag a range of cells from one worksheet to another worksheet.


  • The destination worksheet is protected.


  • The destination range of cells includes one or more merged cells that are locked.

Note that this problem does not occur if you copy and paste a range of cells from one workbook to another.


If this problem occurs, use either of the following methods.

Method 1

Manually merge the unmerged cells. To do this, select the cells and either click Merge And Center on the Formatting toolbar or click the Merge Cells check box in the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

Method 2

Close the destination workbook without saving it, and then reopen the workbook.

IMPORTANT: Use this method with caution because you may lose other changes to the workbook.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kbbug KB172035