News and Change History

Version reference: 2021.1

 Download XLS Padlock

New FastSpring Subscription Kit 2021 - April 12th, 2021

We are glad to release a free add-in for XLS Padlock. In the previous WooCommerce Kit update, we added support for subscriptions, but the drawback was that you needed a paid WooCommerce addon to use them. To solve this problem, we built a new subscription kit that does not require any paid addon and is a pure PHP solution that will work on almost any web server. No WooCommerce is required because all of the subscription and payment logistic is handled by FastSpring, a well-known ecommerce platform.

Our new FastSpring Subscription Kit is thus a free PHP application to be installed on your website. It will bind FastSpring subscriptions to your Excel workbooks protected with XLS Padlock. This lets you automate licensing of your compiled Excel workbooks and earn money regularly through subscriptions. For instance, if the subscription of a customer expires, the access to the workbook is blocked.

We chose to start with FastSpring but, in the future, we may add more ecommerce platforms, depending on our customer requests.

  Discover a new way to make money with subscriptions and our new FastSpring Subscription Kit

A dedicated user guide in HTML Help format is included too. This installation and explanation guide for the FastSpring Subscription Kit is available online or you can download the guide in PDF format.

This kit is offered free of charge to all registered XLS Padlock users. You can download it at the usual address dedicated to registered users.

Version 2021.1 - released on January 27th, 2021

Version 2021.0 - released on December 19th, 2020

WooCommerce integration kit and key generator updated - December 21st, 2020

Our WooCommerce integration kit has been updated with even more features. We added support for subscriptions. If you have the WooCommerce Subscription plug-in, you can easily associate subscriptions to your Excel workbooks.

Subscriptions let you earn monthly incomes from your Excel workbooks. Online activation and validation can now be tied to subscriptions. If the subscription of a customer expires, the access to the workbook is blocked.

We have also expanded the user guide and it is shipped in HTML Help format. But the guide in PDF is still accessible.

As before, this kit is offered free of charge to all registered XLS Padlock users. You can download it at the usual address dedicated to registered users.

The key generator in PHP was also updated to support PHP 8. We strongly recommend you to update your installations.

Version 2020.1 - released on June 5th, 2020

Version 2020.0 - released on March 25th, 2020

WooCommerce integration and online activation kits updated - October 7th, 2019

Our WooCommerce integration kit has been updated with even more features. Now, with a single installation, you can manage the activation and validation of multiple Excel workbooks previously protected with XLS Padlock.

Furthermore, we have added support for an advanced feature provided by WooCommerce: product variations. Therefore, you can configure several variations of your products in WooCommerce and generate activation keys for your Excel workbooks accordingly. For example, you can offer licenses that do not have the same validity period (6 months, one year, etc.): you can consequently create variations of a product but that do not offer the same license period, and assign different activation key generation parameters to each.

No complicated configuration, no PHP code editing anymore: everything is now managed using a simple JSON file. We have also updated the user guide to reflect these many changes.

As before, this kit is offered free of charge to all registered XLS Padlock users. You can download it at the usual address dedicated to registered users.

The activation key generator in PHP and the online activation kit have themselves been revised. We strongly recommend you to update your installations.

Version 2019.1 - released on July 19th, 2019

Version 2019.0 - released on March 8th, 2019

Version 2018.2 - released on April 27th, 2018

  • Improved formula protection behavior, especially for formulas with cell dependencies.
  • It is now possible to mark several cells for protection in one time.
  • New Clear All Formulas button.
  • A warning is now displayed if no cell has been marked for protection.
  • New "how to mark formulas for stronger protection in Excel" video.
  • New faster compression method which improves compilation speed.
  • Improved progress bar and status.
  • Improved Universal 64-bit mode.
  • Fixed "Invalid variant type" regression in VBA compiler while passing parameters from normal VBA functions to compiled VBA functions.
  • Better error message for OLE error 800A03EC.
  • Lots of internal improvements.
  • Updated user guide (opening Word companion files, Print_Area name conflict workaround, etc).

Version 2018.1 - released on March 16th, 2018

  • New additional VBA helper functions to pass more parameters to compiled VBA code.
  • Updated user guide with several new sections. For example: how to correctly apply some protection features.
  • Improved speed of VBA compiler for large VBA code files.
  • Improved error message if a Universal EXE can't start the 64-bit mode for Excel 64-bit (for instance, if a security software prevents it).
  • Fixed: the ‘Every X days’ option in validation did not always display the X field.
  • Minor improvements.

Updated WooCommerce Integration and Activation Kits - Key Generator PHP SDK - February 28th, 2018

  • The WooCommerce Integration Kit has been updated. Changes:
    • The order status is now checked by the WooCommerce kit. If it is different than Completed (pending, processing, on-hold, cancelled, refunded and failed), activation and validation will be refused.
    • New security check: the kit can check that the order contains the allowed product (thanks to the product id defined in config.ini).
    • The WooCommerce integration kit also takes account of order quantity (if product ID is defined). For instance, if the customer bought a quantity of 2 products and with maxactivperorder = 2 in config.ini, the kit would allow 4 activations.
    • Updated documentation. To upgrade your current installation, please refer to the included guide.
  • The Activation Kit and Key Generator PHP SDK have been updated too.

Registered users of XLS Padlock can download new updates from their dedicated page.

Version 2018.0 - released on February 23rd, 2018

  • XLS Padlock can build Universal application EXE files: one single EXE file for both 32-bit and 64-bit Excel versions, but larger. The same EXE file will work with any Excel 32-bit or 64-bit version.
  • New ability to build separate 32-bit and 64-bit EXE files at the same time.
  • You can now cancel the "load previous save" dialog box.
  • New option to always show a welcome screen, even if no save was previously made on the computer.
  • You can now import and export VBA code from/to files in the XLS Padlock's VBA compiler.
  • Online Validation can be configured to occur only when an active Internet connection is available.
  • New validation by number of days after activation.
  • You can now specify a custom UI file that will be applied to the secure Excel instance (ExcelUI XML format), useful to offer your own ribbon for instance.
  • Fixed: EXE won't save the *.eula and *.lic files to the current folder of the EXE file.
  • Fixed: "ReadSystemID" VBA extension returns different system ID than expected in 64-bit mode.
  • Fixed: Clear Activation Data doesn't remove .lic if portable mode.
  • Fixed: activation and validation dialog boxes were not correctly translated.
  • Fixed: error "corrupted data received from application" if title has non-English characters.
  • Fixed: "SaveSecureWorkbookToFile" VBA extension failed if "Allow save but do not handle loading/saving" was enabled.
  • Improvement: XLS Padlock now checks whether companion files exist during compilation.
  • Updated user guide (with new changes and new VBA code about how to retrieve number of remaining days in trial mode).
  • Minor core improvements.

Version 2017.0.1 - released on December 9th, 2017

  • Fixed: settings from "Security / VBA Security" were not properly saved and restored in templates.
  • Minor core updates.

Version 2017.0 - released on November 25th, 2017

  • Improved support for Windows 10 Falls Creator Update (version 1709).
  • Improved compatibility with Excel 2016 click-to-run (version 1710) and Excel 2013 click-to-run editions.
  • Fixed slow loading of protected Excel workbooks on some computers.
  • .DAT and auto-save files are no more created in the same folder as the EXE file by default. There is also a new advanced option to keep this behavior if you want.
  • "Assign macro" is now disabled if you don't allow access to VBE.
  • New advanced option: Do not disable Protect/Unprotect Sheet menu
  • New translation .SIL files available in Slovenian and Croatian.
  • New VBA helper code to retrieve XLS Padlock System ID from VBA.
  • New advanced option to disable display of debugging information in case of runtime errors detected by the VBA compiler.
  • New VBA helper code to allow other Excel instances to access secure workbook and companion files (see user guide).
  • Improved support for High DPI screens and multi-monitors.
  • Fixed: right click was sometimes no more working on worksheet tabs.
  • Fixed: sometimes, license files could not be created.
  • Fixed: validation could wrongly expire keys with a given number of runs.
  • Updated user guide (added new sections about using arrays and error handling in VBA compiler, new VBA code extensions...)
  • Updated core components.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 3.0.0 - released on September 9th, 2017

  • New online validation feature: ask a web server to validate the end user’s activation key before letting him access the workbook. Since it can be performed periodically, validation allows you to control the use of your Excel workbook: for instance, you can remotely block access in case of fraudulent purchases or refunds.
  • New WooCommerce integration kit: you can now sell and automate licensing of compiled Excel workbooks. Activation and validation features of XLS Padlock can be automated and fully integrated with your existing WooCommerce shop. See a fully-functional online demo. The WooCommerce Integration Kit is available for free to every XLS Padlock customer.
  • New security option: Hide Formula Bar (and disable the option so that users can't activate it again in the secure Excel session).
  • New feature: secure save files can be configured to be readable only on the computer they were saved on (hardware-locking).
  • New feature: clear activation data. Lets you remove activation keys on your local computer for testing purposes.
  • When selecting a secure save file, if the user chooses Cancel, the EXE goes back to the previous dialog box (where the user can choose what to do).
  • The Print option is now disabled when print is forbidden.
  • Users must confirm now when they save over an existing save file (prompt for overwriting save files).
  • Optimized loading of secure workbooks.
  • The "Protect Sheet" context menu command is now disabled.
  • Disabled "Share" button on Excel 2016.
  • Improved disabling of UI controls for all Excel versions.
  • The QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) is now always reset in a secure Excel session (can be disabled in the XLS Padlock's Advanced Options).
  • Several Excel constants are now properly recognized by the VBA compiler.
  • The secure Excel session will no more open workbooks executed from Windows Explorer. Instead, they will be opened in a new Excel instance.
  • New VBA API related to online validation.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Updated core components.
  • Minor improvements.

New installer making tutorial - July 8th, 2017

We have a new full tutorial to show you how to create an installer for a compiled workbook and how to configure the installer to associate the custom extension with the compiled workbook EXE file. The goal is that end users can double-click on a save file to immediately open it in Excel without any prompt.

See the tutorial

Version 2.5.0 - released on May 15th, 2017

  • Improved UI: use of system font, scaling items according to DPI and new vector graphics.
  • New App menu button.
  • New feature to load/save settings from/to template files so that you can reuse the same settings between different Excel workbooks.
  • Decreased size of output EXE files.
  • Full support for Large DPI screens.
  • New Spanish and Portuguese Brazil translations.
  • Improved right-to-left language support for dialog boxes.
  • New VBA API to get current save file path.
  • New VBA API to hide the wait dialog programmatically.
  • Fixed: some UI texts were not translated properly.
  • Several minor bug fixes reported by end users thanks to the integrated error report system.
  • Improved Excel-related error detection by XLS Padlock.
  • EXE PE header checksum is now properly set after compilation.
  • MAC address is no more the default method for computing system IDs.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Updated core components.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 2.4.0 - released on December 29th, 2016

  • New Online Activation feature to automate the retrieval of activation keys: the secure workbook can communicate with your website and download activation keys directly from the server instead of prompting end users. You must have set up the XLS Padlock Activation Kit on your web server to use this feature.
    • When the end user starts the application that uses online activation, a dialog box appears telling the user that an activation is required. This dialog box supersedes the “Enter Activation Key” dialog box.
    • The online activation dialog box can be customized at will: basic HTML text can be displayed (you can use HTML tags such as and so on), links and even form fields.
    • Create registration forms for your applications: customers must fill in the form before accessing the secure workbook. Form data is then sent to your web server.
    • In addition to the standard XLS Padlock Key Generator in PHP, we also provide registered users with the XLS Padlock Activation Kit for free. This package contains a basic PHP web application that receives data from the secure workbook, generates appropriate activation keys and sends them back to the application. Thus, everything is automated. A dedicated user guide is included too. This web application can be enhanced and customized at will.
    • Manual activation can be allowed or not for end users who may not have an active Internet connection.
  • Secure save files can now have custom extensions instead of .XLSC.
  • New option: Do not allow other instances of Excel when opening the protected workbook.
  • New option: Disable PDF/XPS Export options in Excel.
  • Improved hardware-locking feature: you can now select one or more hardware components to generate unique system IDs.
  • New method to generate system IDs based on MAC address.
  • New advanced option: Maximize Excel window at startup
  • New variables to retrieve EXE File Version and Product Version fields with VBA code (see VBA extension in our user guide for samples).
  • The Personal XLSB files are no more loaded when opening a protected workbook.
  • Improved compiled VBA code handling when you install a new version of XLS Padlock.
  • XLS Padlock now tests if a provided custom icon file is valid or not before starting the real compilation.
  • Added profile loading/saving to the stand-alone Key Generator.
  • Fixed: in some cases, the "Load previous changes" window would not show up.
  • Fixed license text editor problems on Large DPI screens.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Updated our code signing tool GSignCode.
  • Minor improvements.

Backward Compatibility

Due to the improved hardware-locking system ID generator, you must resend activation keys to your existing customers if you rebuild your EXE files made with a previous version of XLS Padlock.

Version 2.3.0 - released on June 23rd, 2016

  • Fixed access violation in protection DLL due to Large Address Aware capability change for Excel (bug specific to Office 365 + Windows 7/8 users).
  • Improved behavior with some Excel versions (missing XLS Padlock ribbon for instance).
  • You can now import a list of system IDs in the key generator to batch generate serials with hardware ID support.
  • Improvement: XLS Padlock displays [Unsaved Project for %s] in its window title when no XLS Padlock project file is found for the current Excel workbook.
  • Improvement: an error message is now displayed if you don't provide the required system ID in the key generator.
  • Fix for rare bug "Trusted folder could not be registered".
  • New advanced option to allow F11 and F12 keystrokes.
  • You can now retrieve command-line parameters passed to the EXE with VBA code.
  • XLS Padlock verifies that the EXE is available before running it.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 2.2.1 - released on March 10th, 2016

  • A waiting dialog box is now displayed for code signing operations.
  • Disabled "Publish" in Excel 2016.
  • Improved bug and crash report system.
  • Fixed error when output folder does not exist.
  • Improved #NAME error detection for formula protection.
  • Prevent load/save other workbooks enhanced.
  • XLS Padlock now detects if Excel has been closed before compilation.
  • Fixed Zip Central Header error with "Lock VBA Project" enabled for XLS files.
  • Disabled Excel autosave feature.
  • Improved loading time of workbook applications started from shared folders.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 2.2.0 - released on February 26th, 2016

  • Improved UI with new sections and explanations about options.
  • New option: Save changes automatically and load them without prompt next time.
  • Improved command-line support to open secure workbook saves without any prompt: for instance, you can run: mysecureworkbook.exe "C:\My Documents\123.xlsc" to open the 123.xlsc save file.
  • The stand-alone key generator can now output activation keys in mass: several thousands in less than a second. This is useful for online stores where you deliver an activation key immediately after purchase for instance.
  • You can code sign your secure workbook applications with SHA-2 certificates now (a Windows requirement in 2016).
  • Several digest methods available for the digital signature: SHA-1, SHA-256 or dual SHA-1+SHA-256.
  • Improved support for built-in Excel add-ins such as Analysis ToolPak - VBA, Solver... You have the ability to enable or disable them in secure applications.
  • Improved task dialog for selecting options.
  • Fixed "Data not found" error in specific cases.
  • Workaround for "Error setting data in registry - Failed to set data for 'Data'.
  • Fixed Excel crash related to "Lock VBA project" feature in Excel 2007.
  • Fixed: in Excel 64-bit, CTRL+C and CTRL+V shortcuts were not working in the VBA compiler.
  • New crash report feature: if an unexpected error occurs in XLS Padlock, you now have the ability to send us a report and continue the application.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 2.1.1 - released on December 4th, 2015

  • Added loading animation to "loading workbook" dialog box.
  • New Advanced option to set the delay before displaying the Reload button on "loading workbook" dialog box. This is useful if you have large workbooks that require more than 5 seconds to load.
  • Fixed: the EULA dialog box was not correctly localized.
  • Fixed regression in VBA code compiler: "Invalid variant operation when evaluating instruction OperAdd".
  • Excel core add-ins updated for Excel 2016.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor fixes.

Version 2.1.0 - released on October 20th, 2015

  • Full support for Excel 2016 (retail and Office 365), both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
  • New License Agreement or EULA dialog box at startup: you can display your own End User License Agreement before opening the compiled workbook. End users must accept this agreement once prior to using the workbook.
  • New "Use faster compression algorithm" feature: use it if you prefer to give priority to workbook loading speed rather to EXE size.
  • New "Prevent loading/saving other workbooks" security feature.
  • XLS Padlock is now accessible from the Excel context menu if your Excel workbook is configured to hide all ribbons.
  • New French and Dutch languages.
  • New Advanced Option: Show Developer Tab.
  • New Advanced Option (for users who get ERegistryException error): Use another registry key for storing activation data.
  • New VBA API to save non encrypted workbooks.
  • New VBA API to detect if the secured worbook is in trial state or not.
  • Fixed: "Save As" dialog not expected in Excel 2007.
  • Fixed: when "ribbons and toolbars" are disabled, table and picture ribbons were still visible.
  • Updated VBA code snippets in the user guide to avoid the "Subscript out of range" VBA error.
  • Enhanced user guide.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 2.0.0 - released on June 23rd, 2015

  • Initial support for Excel 2016 preview (retail and Office 365), both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
  • Applications are officially compatible with Windows 10.
  • New: support for alpha-blended PNG images - non-rectangular splash screens. Use 32-bit PNG to benefit from semi-transparency.
  • New option "Prevent access to VBA editor" in addition to "Lock VBA Project".
  • New: you can set a maximum version of Excel compatible with your workbook.
  • New: you can display a nag screen for trial versions. The nag screen can also show remaining evaluation time for instance.
  • New "show nag screen" option in activation key generator.
  • New VBA API to suggest save filenames.
  • New VBA API to save encrypted Excel workbooks from VBA.
  • Improved expiration date algorithm.
  • Updated compression routines to make loading faster.
  • Improved loading time and formula protection.
  • New troubleshooting options available for advanced users and specific workbooks.
  • New option Perform a workbook recalculation at startup (formula protection troubleshooting).
  • New: a "Purchase Key Online" button can be displayed on the nag screen, opening the user's web browser to a dedicated page and passing the unique system ID.
  • Fixed "Custom UI XML" error(s) when loading workbooks.
  • Fixed "The password you entered is not correct" error while loading workbooks with specific locale.
  • Fixed Enky SL dongles month expiration date bug.
  • Fixed access violation error when application title was set to "MY APPLICATION%SAVEFILENAME%" for instance.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 1.4.0 - released on September 3rd, 2014

  • New: "Lock VBA Project (simple VBA protection)" lets you prevent access to the VBA project of your workbooks secured by XLS Padlock.
  • New: a "Get Key Online" button can be displayed on the activation screen, opening the user's web browser to a dedicated page and passing the unique system ID.
  • New: Decrypt Save File - lets you restore a save file (.XLSC) of the compiled Excel workbook without running it. Can restore saves created with versions prior to v1.3.0.
  • New: EXE Code signing. You can digitally sign your protected Excel workbook EXE files with a code signing certificate. This lets you disable the "Unknown publisher" warning and reduce possible false positives from antivirus programs.
  • New: make Setup programs for your protected Excel workbooks. This will require Paquet Builder, our installer tool software.
  • Fixed: "Do Not Disable Add-In" list was read-only.
  • Fixed: file version in EXE was always set to
  • Improved detection of corrupted saves or saves not compatible with compiled application.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 1.3.3 - released on March 26th, 2014

  • New feature: hide "Loading workbook" dialog box.
  • New key generator PHP SDK: generate activation keys for your compiled Excel workbooks directly from your website or application.
  • New online live demonstration with a compiled workbook and online generation of activation keys.
  • Fixed: some USB sticks were not recognized by 64-bit applications.
  • Improved detection of corrupted saves or saves not compatible with compiled application.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor changes.

Version 1.3.2 - released on February 20th, 2014

  • New feature: you can compile additional files for your workbook in the EXE file (Companion files).
  • New feature: support for external files (in HYPERLINK Excel functions and VBA code). See the user guide (8th paragraph).
  • New feature: Excel's workbook opening password protection can be used internally to enhance workbook security.
  • Fixed: USB protection was broken.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor changes.

Version 1.3.1 Build 1 - released on February 8th, 2014

  • Fixed access violation in Excel 2007 while shutting down Excel, if the protected workbook was closed before.

Version 1.3.1 - released on February 6th, 2014

  • New Security option: Do not prompt users for filename when saving (only useful if you use VBA events to handle save yourself).
  • Fixed: the "Developer" tab is now hidden when "Disable all ribbons and toolbars" is active.

Version 1.3.0 - released on February 1st, 2014

  • New feature: users can now save their changes in secure Excel files at any time.
  • Fixed false positive detection problems with Norton antivirus.
  • Fixed "Cannot create storage folder" error on some computers with restrictive user rights.
  • Minor changes.

Version 1.2.1 - released on December 23rd, 2013

  • Fixed "invalid Windows image" bug when creating 32-bit applications with Excel 64-bit.
  • Improved loading time.
  • Minor changes.

Version 1.2.0 - released on December 12th, 2013

  • New option to store activation data in an external file (portable mode) and not in Windows registry.
  • New EXE customization options: you can use your own icon and version info for the EXE file, without having a custom build.
  • Localization is now supported for applications: you can customize texts and use your own translation files. For instance, you can now translate your application in your own language.
  • Stand-alone key generator available to registered users.
  • New -del command line option for applications to erase local saves.
  • Improvement: when someone tries to use the exe with an Excel version that is not recent enough, in the error message box, the release name of the version (Excel 2010, 2013...) is displayed instead of the version number (12, 14...).
  • Fixed problem with "ALLOW PRINT OPERATIONS" and activation keys.
  • Fixed possible activation key generation problems on some computers.
  • Updated user guide.

Version 1.1.2 - released on August 5th, 2013

  • Fixed crash with Excel versions shipped with Microsoft Office 365 (32-bit).
  • New progress bar displayed with the splash screen (useful when loading very large Excel documents).
  • Improved formula refresh in some Excel versions.
  • Updated user guide.
  • Minor improvements.

Version 1.1.0 - released on July 17th, 2013

  • New VBA code compiler that lets you transform your VBA code in macros into bytecode. Thus, your existing VBA code cannot be copied by end users and is secured. See the user guide for more information.
  • XLS Padlock now creates smaller EXE files (saving several MBs): Excel worksheets and additional helper files are compressed during compilation.
  • Stability improvements with different Excel versions. For optimal use, make sure you and your customers always work with latest Excel security updates and Service Packs.
  • New generic USB stick locking copy-protection: you can associate your secured workbook to one or more USB sticks, so that they can only run if the correct USB stick is plugged in.
  • You can now forbid "copy to clipboard" and "right click" menu in worksheets.
  • New security option: "disable all ribbons and toolbars" that removes all ribbons or toolbars (only for Excel 2007 and later).
  • When Excel is busy at startup, a dialog box is displayed, allowing end users to retry loading the protected workbook.
  • Applications now remember the last saving directory when you choose to load an existing save (XLSC file).
  • Applications can now display the save's filename (XLSC file) in the application's titlebar.
  • Improved support for Excel 2007. Excel 2007 SP3 is required for optimal use.
  • Added support for other Excel add-ins such as Powerpivot. You can define which add-ins should be allowed or not.
  • New command-line support for applications: -load and -reset
  • New XLS Padlock Manager to repair a damaged XLS Padlock installation or if XLS Padlock met an unexpected crash (and was disabled by Excel after user confirmation).
  • Updated user guide.
  • Several improvements and bug fixes.

Version 1.0.1

Initial release