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Google released Google Drive on April 24, 2012. While you may already have Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or other Microsoft products, using Google Drive has its own benefits. One of the biggest benefits is that you can use tools other Google Drive users have created.

Generally speaking, when you want to download one of these tools (often created in a spreadsheet), the user sharing the tool will make the document public so everyone can view but protect (or lock) the sheet so that no one can edit. This is intentional. Here are a few indicators that the sheet is locked or protected:

Protected sheet indicators:

1) Menu items are greyed out.


2) Ranges are greyed out (like A2 below):


3) Worksheets show a lock icon:


But there’s good news for you: with just a few simple steps, you can access the tool.


Steps to unlock the tool:

1) Make a copy of the file. Click File >> Make a copy…


2) Name the copied document.


3) Once you’ve made a copy of the file, the copy will open in a new tab. You’ll need to refresh the page in your browser, then your menus will be available. Ranges will be unlocked and worksheets will not display a lock icon.


4) In this example, a non-standard menu is available, the Page Speed Menu.


When selecting any item from a non-standard menu, you will need to grant the app authorization to run. Click OK.


5) You will see a dialog like this one. Click Accept to proceed:


7) Once you click ‘Accept’, the selected item will not execute until you click it one more time. Click your menu item again.


Document Unlocked

You’re done! And the tool you’re using will work its unlocked magic from here.


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