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FIX: Embedded Office Files Do Not Prompt to Trust VBA Digital Signature on Load

This article was previously published under Q328588
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you load a Microsoft Office 2000 file that contains a digital signature for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros in an ActiveX Document host (such as Internet Explorer) or an embedded host (such as WordPad), you are not prompted to trust the Digital Signature Certificate. If you have Macro Security set to High, and the certificate is not already in the Trusted Sources list, you cannot select whether the macros can run and the file can load with the macros disabled.

The problem does not occur with Microsoft Office XP.
In Office 2000, the dialog box that permits you to trust digitally signed VBA macros only appears if the Office application is in the foreground. Because the Office file is embedded, the host application (and not Office) is the foreground window. Therefore, you do not see the prompt.

Hotfix information

Note Do not apply this hotfix on a computer that has Microsoft Windows 98 installed. A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
   Date         Time   Version    Size       File name   ---------------------------------------------------   28-Nov-2002  07:36  5,599,281  Mso9.dll
After you apply this hotfix, the English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table.
   Date         Time   Size       File name   ---------------------------------------------   02-Dec-2002  23:01  1,905,824  Mso9.msp   03-Dec-2002  00:09  4,085,364  Mso9_admin.msp   02-Dec-2002  23:14      5,173  Readme.txt
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
More information

Steps to reproduce the problem

  1. Obtain a Digital Certificate that is suitable for code signing from a trusted CA.

    Make sure the Digital Certificate is available in your personal store, together with the private key.
  2. Open Microsoft Excel 2000.

    By default, Book1 is created for you.
  3. Press ALT+F11 to open the VBA editor and then add a new Module to the VBA Project for Book1. Add the following code to Book1:
    Public Sub SayHello()  MsgBox "Hello from your VBA macro!"End Sub					
  4. In the VBA Editor, click to select Digital Signature on the Tools menu.
  5. Click Choose to select your Certificate for code signing. Click OK to select the Certificate and then click OK again to sign the code.
  6. Save the workbook as Book1.xls and then transfer the file to another computer that runs Office 2000 with Macro Security set to High.

    The computer you transfer the file to must be one that has not previously trusted your Certificate. (Alternatively, you can remove your certificate from the trusted sources list if you want to test on the same computer. However, you must remember to add your certificate back after you complete the test.)
  7. Open Internet Explorer 5.5 or Internet Explorer 6.0.
  8. Click File, click Open, and then type the path to the file by using the file protocol syntax to open the file in place in Internet Explorer. (For example, if Book1.xls is in the root of drive C, you can type file:///C:/Book1.xls as the URL to locate the file.)
  9. If prompted, select to Open the file in place inside Internet Explorer.

    You are not prompted to trust the Certificate, and the macros are disabled when the book is opened in place.
  10. Close Internet Explorer and then start Excel.
  11. Open the workbook in Excel.

    You are prompted to trust the Certificate, and you can add the Certificate to your trusted sources list. If you select Always trust macros from this source, you can then enable the macros and run the macros.

Article ID: 328588 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 09:20:00 - Revision: 6.0

Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition, Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Standard Edition, Microsoft Word 2000

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