How to distribute a protected workbook


In XLS Padlock, when you click “Build Secure Application , the progress dialog box is displayed:

XLS Padlock generates a single executable file (.EXE) from your Excel workbook, recognized by Windows. This .EXE file is created in the location you specify with “Output Path”:

You just have to distribute this .EXE file to your end users, nothing more. The original Excel workbook file is of course not required.

To open your protected workbook, your end users launch this .EXE file. Nothing else is required, except a local copy of Microsoft Excel.

When launching the .EXE file, Excel is started, and the protected workbook is opened. End users can work with it as if they opened it the regular way.

Some options like “New workbook”, Open, Save (optionally) are disabled for security reasons.

If Excel is not found on the local computer, an error message is displayed. You can also configure your application to require a minimum version of Excel (and a maximum one if required).


1.To avoid possible false positives of antivirus programs, we recommend you digitally sign your EXE files. XLS Padlock can automatically do it for you if you have a code signing certificate.

2.If you have an active antivirus program, disable it before compiling your workbooks. Otherwise, you may get false positives, because your antivirus may not understand why EXE files are suddenly created on your computer. You can enable it again later.

3.You should never send EXE files directly by email. Email providers will just block them, in case of possible virus threats. For security reasons, you should upload the EXE file to a file hosting service or a web server or an FTP server. For instance, you can use any web hosting provider, or file storage services such as WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive... or cloud solutions such as Amazon S3.


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