Opening macro (xlsm) workbooks
Warning: You should only enable a macro workbook from a trusted source.
1. Excel Windows - Macro security and the Trust Center
The FBE desktop computers reset after each session, so this Macro Settings procedure will need to be performed at the commencement of each new session.
Laptops will only need to be set once, as the settings remain on the machine from session to session.
To check or change the Trust Center settings (in Excel 2010, Excel 2013, or Excel 2016):
- On the ribbon select to display the Trust Center dialog box as shown in figure 1
- From the Trust Center dialog box, select , then choose the option. Notification means that the Warning shown in figures 2, 3,5 or 6 will appear when the macro workbook is opened
Note: You should close the xlsm workbook before these changes are made. Follow the three steps above, then open the xlsm file.
2. Excel Mac
2.1 Sharing and Privacy
- Click the Excel menu on the menu bar (located at the top of the screen), then select the sequence
- Select the Check Box beside Warn me before opening a file that contains macros
2.2 Mac macro warning
Download a pdf version of sections 1 and 2 xlf-excel-macro-security [198 Kb]
3. Excel Windows
Follow these steps if a Security Warning appears when you open the session workbook.
3.1 Excel 2007
- Download the session file to your computer, then open the file from Excel. Do not open the file from within your web browser. Depending on your security settings, you will need to enable the macros. Failure to follow these instructions will cause errors such as #NAME? for functions, and inoperative macros.
- In Excel 2007, Click ① in figure 3 as shown by
- Then ② in figure 4 as shown by
3.2 Excel 2010, Excel 2013 and Excel 2016
- In Excel 2010, Excel 2013, or Excel 2016, click ③ in figures 5 and 6 as shown by
3.3 The security warning has been dismissed
In cases when the Security Warning is no longer visible, you cannot change the security setting of an open workbook.
To enable the macros:
- Close the macro workbook. How? Click . You do not need to Close the Excel Application
- Follow the appropriate macro security steps as listed above - see figure 1 and figure 6
- Then open the Excel workbook, and click Enable Content (item 3 in figure 6)
3.4 Trusted locations
Files stored in a trusted location (introduced in Office 2010) are not checked by the Trust Center. See the left column of the Trust Center (second item) dialog box in figure 1, and the example in figure 7.
3.5 Macro based malware
- Malware is an acronym for malicious software. It is the modern day version of a computer virus
- It is malicious in the way it acts against the intentions of the computer user
- Malware may corrupt the computer or network components, gather sensitive information (personal details, username and password combinations, or bank account details), or even lock the computer and its data, then require the computer user to pay a ransom for release of the data encryption code
- VBA macros embedded in Word or Excel can be used by malicious persons (criminals) to download software such as ransomware, eg. CryptoLocker
"Macro malware usually hides in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel documents. These malicious documents are sent as spam email attachments, or inside ZIP files attached to spam emails. They use files names designed to entice you into opening them." Source: Microsoft Malware Protection Center
- Malware is often distributed by email and attachments including macros - see the example in figure 8
- Note: The "Funds RETURNED" email purports to be sent from a staff member in the same organization as the recipient!
For information about:
- the trust center, see support.office.com/en-us/article/View-my-options-and-settings-in-the-Trust-Center Accessed 23 July 2016
- trusted locations, see support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-remove-or-change-a-trusted-location Accessed 23 July 2016
- trusted documents, see support.office.com/en-us/article/Trusted-documents Accessed 23 July 2016
- enable or disable macros in Office files - Microsoft, see shttps://support.office.com/en-us/article/Enable-or-disable-macros-in-Office-files-12b036fd-d140-4e74-b45e-16fed1a7e5c6#__toc311698312s Accessed 18 January 2017
- macro malware help - Microsoft, see www.microsoft.com/en-us/security/portal/threat/macromalware.aspx Accessed 17 January 2017
- Macro Malware: Here's what you need to know in 2016 - MicroTrend, see http://blog.trendmicro.com/macro-malware-heres-what-you-need-to-know-in-2016/ Accessed 17 January 2017
- Fileless Melware: The Fileless, Non-Malware Menace - MicroTrend, see https://blog.trendmicro.com/the-fileless-non-malware-menace/ Accessed 20 March 2019
- This example was developed in Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.
- Last modified: , [Australian Eastern Time (AET)]
- Published: 2 February 2015
- Revised: Friday 31st of January 2020 - 10:42 AM, [Australian Eastern Standard Time (EST)]