Trusted documents

Hideatsu works collaboratively with several co-workers and vendors across Asia on files that describe a new technology. He knows he can trust the files from his co-workers, but knows little about these vendors and sometimes receives attachments in email messages from them. New files arriving by email with active content, such as macros, can make the Message Bar appear. Hideatsu can choose to trust documents that come from reliable sources. After he trusts the documents, he is not prompted to enable content for those files the next time he opens them.

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Creating trusted documents

When you open a new file that has active content (data connections, macros, and so on) the Message Bar appears because active content may contain viruses and other security hazards that could harm your computer or your organization’s network. However, if you trust the source of the file, or know that the active content is secure (for example, the macro is signed by a trusted publisher), then you can enable the file’s active content. This makes it a trusted document. When you reopen the file, the Message Bar does not appear. Use the following instructions to make your file a trusted a document.

The following image is an example of the Message Bar when macros are in the file.

Security Warning Message Bar for macros

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Info.
  3. In the Security Warning section, click Enable Content.

Security Warning area, Always enable

  1. Two options appear: Enable All Content and Advanced Options.
    • Enable All Content     Make the file a trusted document to allow active content to run.
    • Advanced Options     Select which active content runs for this session. This enables the content for one time, only. The Message Bar appears when you re-open the file.

 Note   If you know the file is from a trustworthy source you can click Enable Content on the Message Bar. The file becomes a trusted document and it will not open with the Message Bar again. You can read the final section for more information about trusted documents.

Some files cannot be made trusted documents

There are situations when you cannot make a file a trusted document. For example, one or several types of active content have been disabled when you attempt to open the file. Active content can be disabled if:

  • The system administrator has set security policy to disable a certain type of active content for your organization (for example, Disable all macros without notification). In this case, if you open a file with macros, and data connections, the file cannot be trusted because the macros are disabled when the file opens.
  • You have changed your Trust Center settings for one, or more, active-content types.

To see your security settings click the File tab. Click Options. Click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings. Or you can learn more in View my options and settings in the Trust Center.

More reasons why files cannot be made trusted documents

  • The file opened from an unsafe location, such as your temporary Internet folder (TIF) or the Temp folder
  • If the feature is turned off by your system administrator for network locations, or for all locations
  • If the file you are trying to trust is a template, such as files with the extensions .dot, .dotx, or .dotm

For these files, click Enable All Content to enable the active content for that session. This enables the content for one time, only. The Message Bar appears when you reopen the file.

The following example is an image the Security Warning area when a file cannot be trusted.

Security Warning area when a file cannot be trusted

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Trusting documents on a network

It’s important to be careful before trusting documents on a network because other people could tamper with network files and change the active content in them. To lower the possibility of security risks, you should trust files on a network location that is access controlled, or created by the system administrator.

A Security Warning dialog box appears when you try to trust a file from a network location. You can click Don't show this message again in the dialog box, and then the dialog box does not appear again. In addition, you can turn off the feature by clicking No on the Security Warning dialog box.

Turn off Trusted Documents feature for network locations

You can turn off the Trusted Documents feature, for network locations, by making the selection in the Trust Center.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings.
  4. Click Trusted Documents.
  5. Clear the Allow documents on a network to be trusted check box.

Trusted Documents area of Trust Center

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View or modify Trusted Documents settings in the Trust Center

You can view or change Trusted Documents settings in the Trust Center. Making changes starts or disables the ability to create trust documents that protects your computer and your organization's network from possible malicious code in active content.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings.
  4. Click Trusted Documents.
  5. Make selections for trusted documents that you want.

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Trusted Documents settings explained

  • Allow documents on a network to be trusted     The Security Warning dialog box no longer appears for files in network locations.
  • Disable Trusted Documents     The Security Warning dialog box appears for files, each time you open them.
  • Clear all Trusted Documents so that they are no longer trusted     Click Clear to delete the list of trusted documents that were previously trusted. The Message Bar appears again for the documents you previously trusted.

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What are trusted documents?

Trusted documents are files that have active content (macros, ActiveX controls, data connections, and so on) and open without the Message Bar after you enable the active content in them. For a trusted document, there is no prompt when you open the file, even if new active content was added, or changes that you make to the existing active content. However, the prompt appears if the file was moved since you last trusted the file. After a document is trusted, it does not open in Protected View. Therefore, you should trust documents only if you trust the source of the file.

 Note   If a file opens in Protected View that has no active content, and you enable editing, the file is trusted and no longer opens in Protected View. However, if the file contains active content, a Message Bar appears for the disabled active content, until you enable the content. Active content is not enabled automatically when you exit Protected View.

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Applies to:
Access 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Visio 2013, Visio Professional 2013, Word 2013, Access 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Visio 2010, Word 2010