Disabled Macros

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 13, 2016)

If you recently upgraded from Word 97 to a later version of the program, you may have run into a situation where the macros you created in Word 97 no longer run because they are disabled. This can be disturbing, particularly if you absolutely need the macros to get your work done.

The reason this happens is that the later versions of Word (beginning with Word 2000) include a macro security feature which wasn't present in Word 97. The default security setting, when first installing Word, is "high." This setting automatically disables any macros in any document that's not in the defined template folder or digitally signed by a 'trusted source' (for more info read Word Macro Security in online help).

This automatically presents several possible solutions. First of all, if the disabled macros are part of a template, you can move the template to the defined templates folder. The typical default template folder is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates, but if it's been changed to somewhere else, you can remind yourself of where by looking at the folder setting for User Templates on the File Locations tab of the Options dialog.

The second possible solution is to get your macros "digitally signed." Such a process is beyond the scope of this tip, but you can find help on the process in the online help files or at the Microsoft Web site.

Finally, you can lower the default setting for the macro security used by Word. For instance, you can set it to "Medium," which results in only a warning message about the macros rather than an outright disabling. To change the security setting, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Macro from the Tools menu, and then choose Security from the submenu. Word displays the Security dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Security dialog box

  3. Choose a security setting: High, Medium, or Low.
  4. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (806) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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