Turn an Excel workbook into protected EXE

Steps to protect an Excel workbook

1. In Excel, open the workbook you want to protect (any Excel format such as XLS, XLSX, XLSM, XLSB files), and save changes.

2. Configure general and security options in XLS Padlock.

To start the Excel compiler, choose Compile to EXE in the XLS Padlock menu or ribbon:

Starting from Excel 2007: “XLS Padlock” ribbon
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Before Excel 2007: “XLS Padlock” menu


Make sure you have saved your Excel document before opening XLS Padlock.

XLS Padlock

Give a title to your workbook. It will be displayed after the file name on the upper ribbon of your workbook, replacing “Microsoft Excel” mention.

You can configure several other options by clicking the appropriate icons in the toolbar. But you can also directly create the secure application.

3. Build your workbook as secure application or Save your project

After configuring your workbook’s settings, you can either:

  • build your secure application: your distributable workbook is compiled and ready for use.
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  • save your project to compile it later.
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Now, your Excel workbook is secure

It can be distributed by simply providing the EXE file generated by XLS Padlock to your customers and users. Of course, it is recommended to customize the different options offered by XLS Padlock to add more functionalities to your new Excel-based app.

Protect your investment and earn more from your Excel workbooks

Start testing our solution today with the fully-functional and free trial version of XLS Padlock. No time limit. No credit card required.