Protecting your Origin Project Data

Users will sometimes ask “How do I protect my Origin project data?”

The answer depends on what it is you are trying to prevent.

  • You can prevent unauthorized persons from opening your project. This can be implemented from the graphical user interface (GUI).
  • You can prevent project data from being modified (e.g. accidental changes to worksheet data) . As of Origin 2015, there is no GUI access to these protections so the user will need to issue some simple LabTalk commands.

Preventing Access to your Origin Project

You can prevent unauthorized persons from opening your Origin project by creating a password:


  1. Select Tools: Protection: Protect Project from the main menu.
  2. In the Password dialog, create a password.
  3. Save the project.

Subsequently, when someone tries to open the project, they will be prompted for a password. This applies to any method of opening the project, including by appending to an existing project file or by attempting to open the file programmatically.

This method may be all that many users need. If you share a laboratory workstation and simply want to prevent a co-worker from accidentally opening your project file and modifying it, this method should suffice.

Preventing Modifications to your Origin Project Data

A second type of protection was implemented in Origin 9.1. These protections, applied and administered via various LabTalk commands, are aimed at preventing accidental or unauthorized changes to worksheets or workbooks in the Origin project file.

You can decide which workbook elements to protect by assigning different protection flags. These hex values are used with the LabTalk layer and page commands:

  • layer -lw hex(hex value);  // apply or remove protections at the sheet level
  • page -lw hex(hex value);  // apply or remove protections at the book level

So, for instance, to prevent modifications to a particular worksheet, you could activate the sheet, then open the Script window (Window: Script Window) and type:

layer -lw

to turn on all the protection flags, or

layer -lw hex(82)

to protect only the data and sheet structure. As you can see that the these flags are additive so that by typing the following …

layer -lw hex(482)

… you would protect data, sheet structure and prevent sheet deletion.

Please note that these protections can be removed by anyone with access to the project file by issuing, for example,

layer -lw

This removes all protections on the current worksheet. If this is a concern you can establish a password-protected Admin mode for the entire project that prevents unauthorized persons from issuing these LabTalk protection commands.

Thanks for your time. If you want to read further on the subject of Origin project protections, see these topics in our online documentation:

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