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Fixing a spreadsheet that is incorrectly "protected"

asked 2018-09-02 16:18:24 +0200

jamshark70 gravatar image

LibreOffice just crashed while I was editing an unprotected spreadsheet.

Now the spreadsheet is protected and I can't modify it.

Obviously I didn't assign a password so I can't just unprotect it in the normal way.

This is a matter of file corruption due to a LibreOffice bug that has apparently been around for years.

How do I fix it?

Sorry but I have to supply a file to my office very soon and I am completely stuck.

Very unpleasant user experience.

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What your OS, LibreOffice version, bug number around, file type, backup option enable?

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2018-09-02 17:20:33 +0200 )edit

Quoting @jamshark70:"This is a matter of file corruption due to a LibreOffice bug that has apparently been around for years."
How do you know?
Did you backup in short intervals as urgently recommended for important work?
If not: I'm afraid there is no remedy. This at least if not an experienced helper has the file at hand.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2018-09-02 18:54:21 +0200 )edit

This is a matter of file corruption due to a LibreOffice bug that has apparently been around for years

Please mention the bug number.

If the file is protected for editing (but otherwise readable) - assuming it notifies you that you need some password to edit (read-only status could be e.g. due to file permissions or attributes) - the protection can be easily removed. Google for it (it's improper to give such instructions here).

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2018-09-02 19:42:00 +0200 )edit

OS: Ubuntu 16.04. LibreOffice File type .ods

I definitely have read/write permission on the file.

It doesn't prompt me for a password. But, as soon as I try to change any cell, it tells me "Protected cells cannot be modified."

I ended up just redoing it -- it's a form from my school, one sheet. But it drives me nuts when software doesn't work right. I didn't do anything wrong, so the file shouldn't be broken.

jamshark70 gravatar imagejamshark70 ( 2018-09-03 10:39:13 +0200 )edit

@jamshark70: You still didn't provide evidence for your claim "This is a matter of file corruption due to a LibreOffice bug that has apparently been around for years."

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2018-09-03 12:37:54 +0200 )edit

Maybe you have set up sheet protection, try Menu/Tools/Protect sheet without password.

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2018-09-03 22:57:02 +0200 )edit

"Maybe you have set up sheet protection, try Menu/Tools/Protect sheet without password." I already explained this is the result of a crash, not user action on my part. I never touched any Protect option before this happened.

"You still didn't provide evidence for your claim" -- Well, I had problems with protected cells before and found a number of threads about it, so it seemed to me that it was a common problem. But I'll drop that point.

jamshark70 gravatar imagejamshark70 ( 2018-09-04 16:08:29 +0200 )edit

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answered 2018-09-03 00:07:46 +0200

Lupp gravatar image

updated 2018-09-03 00:08:50 +0200

Did you check the state of protection for any single sheets? Is protection signaled by the lock symbol?
If there is protection and it cannot be removed from the UI for whatever reason, there should be remedy because the sheet protection is very weak. It's different with file protection (which actually is done by encoding). But in the latter case you wouldn't have been able to open the file. If you need advice for removing a sheet protection by manipulating the file: Thats not so easy for me to tell. You might better find a trustworthy expert to do it for you.

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Aha, indeed, the sheet got protected. If I try to unprotect the sheet, it asks for a password. Obviously I don't know what the password is, because I didn't set the password.

OK... well, above says "Google it." Fine...

jamshark70 gravatar imagejamshark70 ( 2018-09-03 10:41:04 +0200 )edit

I removed sheet protection for requesters in forums, and most likely I could also do it in this case. But: I use a few specific tools here for the job. It's difficult for me to describe the proceeding without referencing my tools. Use PN in if you want me (also 'Lupp' there) to help further. may be enough of a clue for you, however.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2018-09-03 11:24:26 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-09-04 09:47:41 +0200

erAck gravatar image

Try to unprotect with no (empty) password, if you accidentally protected the sheet without setting a password.

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A sheet protected with the empty password gets unprotected already when the Protect Sheet... item of the context menu is selected. You are not prompted for a password in this case.
(There may have been old versions behaving otherwise. But we were told the issue was with V6.0.4.)

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2018-09-04 11:20:23 +0200 )edit

No, that doesn't work. I did not accidentally protect the sheet. LO crashed and corrupted the file. I tried "Protect Sheet..." and entering an empty password, and LO refused to unlock it.

jamshark70 gravatar imagejamshark70 ( 2018-09-04 16:04:19 +0200 )edit

No. You wouldn't get a grand jury to believe that a crash can set a sheet to be protected with a password without any further damage. Crashes crash, they don't make jokes. May it be that someone else tampered with your file?
Did you succeed with removing the protection meanwhile?

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2018-09-04 17:21:07 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2018-09-02 16:18:24 +0200

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Last updated: Sep 04 '18