Why just compiling a workbook into EXE is not enough?


Once compiled in a “Secure Application”, your protected workbook file (XLSX source file) will not be accessible directly. Indeed, to access the workbook, end users must run the secure application .EXE file.



However, just compiling your workbook as a secure application is not enough: the protection of your workbook in an EXE file remains weak. It would be like closing a door without putting the lock. To increase protection, use the additional stronger features of XLS Padlock.



In fact, XLS Padlock keeps your workbook in memory to let Excel access it. And, without applying additional XLS Padlock protection, hackers with strong technical knowledge could retrieve the original workbook from the EXE file. This is not an easy task, but it might be possible once again if you don’t use the additional stronger features of XLS Padlock.



If you apply XLS Padlock protection features correctly, even if someone manages to extract the workbook from the EXE, your workbook file will not work properly! The protection is even the strongest for workbooks with formulas and/or VBA code.


Which XLS Padlock security features are the most effective

You will find some suggestions for stronger protection in the following topics. Note that all XLS Padlock options available are described in detail in the All XLS Padlock options topics.

Prevent common VBA and OLE hacks

Password protect your workbook

Forbid access to the VBA editor (VBE)

Disable common Excel add-ins

Protect your formulas with XLS Padlock’s formula protection

Real VBA code protection with VBA compiler