Macro Security in Excel 2010

By Michael Alexander

With the release of Office 2010, Microsoft introduced significant changes to its Office security model. One of the most significant changes is the concept of trusted documents. Without getting into the technical minutia, a trusted document is essentially a workbook you have deemed to be safe.

If you open a workbook that contains macros in Excel 2010 or later, you see a yellow bar message under the ribbon stating that macros (active content) have been disabled.

If you click Enable, the workbook automatically becomes a trusted document. This means you no longer are prompted to enable the content as long as you open that file on your computer. The basic idea is that if you tell Excel that you trust a particular workbook by enabling macros, it is highly likely that you will enable macros each time you open the workbook. Thus, Excel remembers that you’ve enabled macros before and inhibits any further ­messages about macros for that workbook.

This feature is great news for you and your clients. After enabling your macros one time, they won’t be annoyed at the constant messages about macros, and you won’t have to worry that your macro-enabled dashboard will fall flat because macros have been disabled.

Any workbook you create from scratch will automatically be considered to be trusted. That is, Excel will not require you to enable macros in the workbooks you create.