Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Attaching Macros to Documents.

Attaching Macros to Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 21, 2019)

3

If you teach other people how to use Word, it is not unusual to prepare sample documents that your students can use while learning. If you need to teach them how to work with macros, you may even attach some sample macros to the documents you prepare for them. This is easy enough to do, but making it so your students can utilize the macros in the documents may not be so easy.

When the student opens your sample document (with sample macros attached), he or she may see a message indicating that the macros have been disabled. This behavior is normal for Word, and there is no way to disable it from within the macro or the document itself. The behavior is controlled by the security settings on the student's machine. Your student can check these settings using the Trust Center. You can display the Trust Center in either of two ways:

  • Make sure the Developer tab of the ribbon is selected and then click Macro Security in the Code group.
  • Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.) Click Trust Center | Trust Center Settings | Macro Settings.

The Trust Center also has four settings for macro security:

  • Disable all macros without notification
  • Disable all macros with notification
  • Disable all macros except digitally signed macros
  • Enable all macros

You want to have the students choose the "Disable all macros with notification" option. (You don't want to have them choose "Enable all macros" for the security reasons already discussed.) If they make this choice, then even though the macros are disabled, they can still choose to run them by clicking a rather obvious button that will appear above the document—once it is loaded—and just below the ribbon.

Another possible solution, available for all versions of Word, is to place your sample macros in a template that is accessible to all the students through a network folder. Once in the template, then your students can create a document based on that template, and the macros should be available.

Perhaps the best solution, however, is to find a way to digitally sign your macros so that they are "trusted." If Word believes that macros are from a trusted source, it will load them automatically, even if the student has their security setting on High. Information on how to do this is quite involved. A good place to start looking for information is in the Word online Help system. Do a search for "Security Levels in Word."

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5909) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Attaching Macros to Documents.

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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What is four more than 1?

2015-01-30 16:55:26

Peggy

I have created a restricted word form and attached a macro to it. However, some of the receivers can't access the macro even though it is attached to the document


2013-06-28 12:47:23

awyatt

Good catch, Derek. I'm sorry I didn't notice that earlier.

Macros are "attached" to things (documents, templates, etc.) when you direct Word to store the macro with that thing. For instance, here's a tip on writing a macro from scratch:

http://wordribbon.tips.net/T006821

Note step 3 in that tip; it says that you need to specify where you want the macro stored. When you choose to store the macro in a template, it is "attached" to that template. When you choose to store the macro in a specific document, it is "attached" to that specific document.

Hopefully that helps.

-Allen


2013-06-28 12:12:24

Derek Brown

I was expecting to be told how to attach a macro to a document, but all you say is that it's "easy enough".

You really meant "Enabling Attached Macros".

So how do you attach macros?


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