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Microsoft Excel 2010 : Enabling and Examining Macros (part 1) - Macro Security in Excel 2010

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4/12/2014 9:03:48 PM

It’s possible for unscrupulous programmers to write viruses and other harmful programs by using the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming language, so you need to be sure that you don’t run macros from unknown sources. In addition to running protective software such as Windows Defender, you can also change your Excel macro security settings to control when macros can be run. After you’re sure a macro is safe, you open it in the Visual Basic Editor to examine its code.

Macro Security in Excel 2010

In versions of Excel prior to Excel 2007, you could define macro security levels to determine which macros, if any, your workbooks would be allowed to run, but there was no workbook type in which all macros were disallowed. Excel 2010 has several file types you can use to control whether a workbook will allow macros to be run. The following table summarizes the macro-related file types.

Extension

Description

.xlsx

Regular Excel 2010 workbook; macros are disabled

.xlsm

Regular Excel 2010 workbook; macros are enabled

.xltx

Excel 2010 template workbook; macros are disabled

.xltm

Excel 2010 template workbook; macros are enabled

When you open a macro-enabled workbook, the Excel program-level security settings might prevent the workbook from running the macro code. When that happens, Excel displays a security warning on the Message Bar.

Macro Security in Excel 2010

Troubleshooting

The appearance of buttons and groups on the ribbon changes depending on the width of the program window.

Clicking the Enable Content button lets the workbook use its macros. Always take the time to verify the workbook’s source and consider whether you expected the workbook to contain macros before you enable the content. If you decide not to enable the macros in a workbook, click the Close button at the right edge of the Message Bar.

You can change your program-level security settings to make them more or less restrictive; to do so, click the File tab, click Options, and then, in the Excel Options dialog box, click the Trust Center category. On the page that appears, click the Trust Center Settings button to display the Trust Center dialog box.

Troubleshooting

The Excel default macro security level is Disable All Macros With Notification, which means that Excel displays a warning on the Message Bar but allows you to enable the macros manually. Selecting the Disable All Macros Without Notification option does exactly what the label says. If Consolidated Messenger’s company policy is to disallow all macros in all Excel workbooks, its employees would select the Disable All Macros Without Notification option.

Important

Because it is possible to write macros that act as viruses, potentially causing harm to your computer and spreading copies of themselves to other computers, you should never choose the Enable All Macros security setting, even if you have virus-checking software installed on your computer.

 
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