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I have a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which I want to lease out to people. I would ideally like to be able to convert it to an interactable web page. The spreadsheet contains many special functions such as the numbers changing based on what a user inserts into a text field and also dropdown menus that change which image is displayed.

However, I do not wish to send the Excel document itself because I do not want my customers to have the formulas that calculate the values behind the scenes. What is the best way to go about this? Would I have to host my own web server? Would I need to re-write the document or is there a good way to export it? Would this service do what I need? Is there another service or program that can do this?

migrated from superuser.com Mar 5 '17 at 18:43

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    This program comes with a free trail and it pass the virus total scan, so rather than asking us if it's what you want try it yourelf – Ben Mar 5 '17 at 2:53
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    Rather than converting to a web page, can't you use Excel's built-in protection to hide things. Turn off protection for only the cells that you want them to be able to type in, all cells have protection on by default. Then turn on protection for the sheet, selecting the settings you want, including setting a password to turn off protection. Save that as a new workbook (so the original is totally unprotected for your use). You can now send that document, and they can't see the formulas, or anything else you have made not selectable. On the flip side, doesn't Excel have a Export as webpage? – Gypsy Spellweaver Mar 5 '17 at 2:54
  • Why don't you just save as CSV (or a spreadsheet without formulas) and send/upload that? – Nemo Jun 3 '18 at 13:19
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Aaron, you have quite a bit of programming ahead of you! Plus maybe two new programming languages to learn ;-)

You can make a desktop based program and hide the calculation formulae by virtue of them being in the executable and users having no access to the code. Looking into Qt and C++. You might have to convert your data first, perhaps export it to SCSV & then import. Personally, I love Delphi and it has great grid handling, but the $1,000 price tag might put you off.

Alternatively, Python is a popular and relatively simple to learn language, which I know has some good packages of manipulating actual Excel spreadsheets. If you go this way, use the excellent, free Pycharm IDE, community edition. However, Python is an interpreted language, which generally gives users access to the source code. You can get around this by compiling it (which the interpreter does anyway, on the fly, it just deletes the executable afterwards) and distributing that.

If you want browser based, then nothing beats AngularJS for two way data binding . Of course, users can view the source code, but if you minify it, they won’t be able to see your formulae. If you are really paranoid, you could offload all calculation to the server and code PHP (or maybe NodeJs), but that requires around trip to the server every time a cell changes value.

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If a programmatic solution is acceptable, a Spreadsheet control like ejSpreadsheet can be used to host your own spreadsheet within a web application.

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The entire product is available for free through the community license program if you qualify (less than 1 million USD in revenue).

Note: I work for Syncfusion.

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Vaadin Spreadsheet

Vaadin Spreadsheet is a commercial product for providing sophisticated spreadsheets within a web app built using the Vaadin Framework.

Vaadin Spreadsheet can read and write Microsoft Excel files. Your users can edit those files live within their web browser (no Excel needed). Supports things like Excel formulas, protected cells, freeze panes, simple conditional formatting, and more.

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At my company, we have a few workbooks we use to collect data for quarterly budgeting and the spreadsheet contains lots of calculations and input data. Data is collected from a bunch of stores all around the country and then reported to the finance department. Naturally, we don’t want anyone to mess up with our formulas or data, so Google Docs etc. wasn’t an option. So I think a web application is what you should be looking for.

We've been using this software called Spreadsheetweb. It’s not free, but it’s definitely much cheaper than hiring web developers to build a tool. You can either go with the cloud option or set it up on premise. Since we collect sensitive data, we decided to license the software and keep it on our servers.

It comes with database integration and workflow capabilities. This is something other similar tools are especially lacking. Because data from each store had to be updated multiple times by different users, it was going to get hard to see who’s doing what. The software’s tracking capabilities made our lives much easier!

Honestly, it’s all pretty easy to work with once you figure out what’s what.

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Unlike spreadsheet conversion technologies (e.g. Googlesheets, SpreatsheetWEB, etc), EASA retains your spreadsheets as logic engines for the web apps you publish, which means it works even if you have macros and VBA in your spreadsheets.

There are several examples of customers creating web apps in EASA's no-code environment, which then link to your master spreadsheet on a secure server. Users' data is of course saved to a central database, not to flat files locally.

Some case studies can be found here: https://easasoftware.com/case-studies-management-control-excel-configure-price-quote/ , and videos here: https://easasoftware.com/video-gallery/videos-management-control-excel-spreadsheets/

In summary, EASA enables companies to:

• Easily manage spreadsheets which need to be shared with multiple users

• Ensure version control and eliminate the possibility of mistakes due to users accessing an older version

• Secure your intellectual property and ensure that critical business IP embedded in your spreadsheet never falls into the wrong hands

• Improve workflow by providing users with a more streamlined user-experience

• Prevent the proliferation of spreadsheets and saving of local flat files; instead save users’ work into a central database, enabling reporting and analytics

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Publisheet

You might want to give www.publisheet.com a try. It's an add-in for Excel that allows you to publish your spreadsheets as dynamic web pages with formula support.

To publish your spreadsheet, simply provide a title in the Publisheet add-in pane and click the Publish button. In just a few seconds your dynamic web page will be ready, stored securely in the cloud and you’ll get a link that you can share with anyone you like.

Here you can see a demo of a converted quotation. You can edit the relevant fields directly in the browser and the dynamic fields with formulas will be instantly recalculated.

If your worksheets have sensitive content, you can also set a password to keep them private and only visible to people you share the password with.

Another feature of Publisheet is that it allows you to create mixed text-heavy reports. You simply add text ranges which will be parsed as Markdown allowing you to add advanced formatting (headings, bolds, etc) to your web-based report.

Disclaimer: I built Publisheet.

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