Macro Security in Word  What is it? + How to Optimize ▷ 2020

While it is true, Microsoft Word is the most recognized and used word processor worldwide. Well, thanks to its various functions available, it can be classified as a truly complete program.

In this sense, Word is an ideal tool for create, edit, personalize and manage high-quality digital documents. Taking into account that, to optimize the experience of each user, it has excellent options that support productivity, just like macros are.

Since macros are elements that allow you to make custom recordings for better performance, but What is macro security? In this post, we will teach you what it is and how it should be configured.

What is macro security in Word and what is it for?

In case you didn’t know yet, macros are defined as one of the best functionalities in Word so that the user can ensure and increase their productivity when preparing a text. Since, through keyboard shortcuts or with a button located on the taskbar, they allow to automatically perform an action that is carried out frequently.

However, when using these macros in Word, it is important to take into account their security settings. Which is used to control which macros are executed and under what circumstances, in any document of the program. In addition, the security of a macro allows you to prevent any of these external malicious elements may cause some kind of damage to the equipment.

Now, it is worth noting that there are different macro security configurations and, Next, we mention and detail each of them:

  • Disable macros without notification: It is an option that is recommended to use when the user does not trust macros. Since, it only allows executing those that are stored in a confidential place, that is, in trusted locations. Taking into account that, all document macros and security alerts are disabled by default.
  • Disable all macros with notification: This is the default setting in Word, and in this case, macros will remain disabled while macro security alerts will be present. Therefore, security notifications will be displayed warning about the intention to execute a macro, so that the user can decide whether or not to execute it.
  • Disable all macros except digitally signed: It is very similar to the previous configuration, that is, the macros will be disabled and security alerts will be displayed. But, the main difference is that, if the macro is digitally signed by a trusted publisher, it can be run if you have indicated your trust in the publisher. Otherwise, the publisher can choose whether to enable them or not.
  • Enable all macros: Basically, it is a configuration that allows to execute all macros without first sending any notification or alert to the user. Therefore, it is not recommended, since it makes your computer vulnerable to possible malicious code.
  • Trust access to the object model of VBA projects: It is a security option that allows a written code to automate an Office program and manage to manipulate the environment and object model of VBA (Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications). So, it is a setting that adapts to the user and the application, not supporting access by default.

What are the biggest security risks of using external macros?

In addition to allowing custom creation of macros, Word also supports the ability to use external macros easily. But, despite the fact that it can be very helpful for the best performance of users, the truth is that these macros reveal certain disadvantages based on security risks.

In this sense, every time you start using macros that are downloaded through the Internet, the number of threats will increase because macros from unknown sources contain malicious code and processes, usually. Which would cause damage to the equipment and could even negatively influence your privacy as a user.

So, to prevent this from happening and thus avoid being a victim of such computer risks, you will have to make sure that the macro to download meets the following two requirements:

  • The macro in question must have been created using the copy of Microsoft Office Word that is installed on your computer.
  • The macro you want to run has to have a digital signature from a verified and trusted source.

Steps to configure macro security in Word and avoid unpleasant surprises

In addition to taking into account the requirements raised above, you must also make sure that set up macro security in Word correctly, in order to prevent any risk or unpleasant surprise when using these productivity elements.

To do this, below, we detail each step by step to follow:

  • To start, you must access the Word document from which you want to configure this security, regardless of whether or not you have already created a macro in the program.
  • Followed by this, go to the options bar of the word processor in its main window and click on the “File” tab.
  • Done the above, proceed to select “Options” in the list on the left sidebar and a dialog box will appear on the screen.

Steps to configure macro security in Word and avoid unpleasant surprises

  • Later, in the options available on the left side, click on the option “Trust Center”.

Steps-to-configure-macro-security-in-Word-and-avoid-unpleasant-surprises

  • Now, specifically in the Trust Center section of Microsoft Word, click on the button “Trust Center Settings …”.

Steps-to-configure-macro-security-in-Word-and-avoid-unpleasant-surprises

  • In conclusion, press the “Accept” button twice as required and with this, said configuration will be saved in Word in general terms. After that, go to the option “Macro Settings” and click there. For later, choose the setting you prefer, These being the ones that we detail in the first section of the post:
    • Disable all macros without notification.
    • Disable all macros with notification.
    • Disable all macros except digitally signed ones.
    • Enable all macros.
    • Trust access to the VBA projects object model.

Steps to configure macro security in Word and avoid unpleasant surprises

  • In conclusion, press the “Accept” button twice as required and with this, said configuration will be saved in Word in general terms.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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