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A publisher is a person or a company who has published software, such as a macro, an ActiveX control, or an add-in. Before you decide that a publisher is reliable, you should know the identity of the publisher, and whether the publisher's credentials are valid.

When Office displays the message bar to warn you about potentially unsafe code in a file, you can view more information about the code and the publisher before deciding whether to trust the code or the publisher.

Important: If you receive a warning that there is no signature present, or that the signature is invalid, you should not enable the content or trust the publisher unless you are sure the code comes from a reliable source. Usually, a message that the signature is invalid means that the code was tampered with after the author signed it.

To view details about code and the publisher

  1. Select the File tab.

  2. In the Security Warning area, click Enable Content > Advanced Options.

    In Microsoft Office Security Options, Office displays additional information about the cause of the security warning, including any information about the publisher that is included with the publisher's code.

    The security alert dialog from Microsoft Excel

To add a publisher to the list of Trusted Publishers

Important: When you trust a publisher, you're trusting ALL code that is signed with that publisher's certificate.

  1. Open the file from the new publisher.

  2. Select the File tab.

  3. In the Security Warning area, click Enable Content > Advanced Options.

  4. In Microsoft Office Security Options, click Trust all documents from this publisher.

Enable a publisher's active content just for this session

To enable a publisher's active content just for this session, use the previous instructions to access the Microsoft Office Security Options dialog box. In the dialog box, click Enable content for this session for each piece of active content in the list.

View or remove a trusted publisher

You can review the publishers that Office has on the list of trusted publishers and, optionally, remove a publisher by using the following procedure.

  1. In an Office application select File > Options.

  2. Select Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Trusted Publishers.

  3. In the Trusted Publishers list, select the publisher to remove, and then click Remove.

If the Remove button is greyed out, the Office program isn’t running with administrator rights. To remove a publisher, you need to exit your Office program and run it as Administrator. 

Caution: Running Office programs with administrator rights is less secure than running them as a regular user.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search, or if you are using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, wait for the Charms Bar to appear, and then click Search.

  2. Type the name of an Office program, like Word. In the results, locate an Office program, and then tap and hold for moment or right-click with the mouse. Release to display a menu, and then click Run as administrator.

    If you did not log on to the computer with an account that has administrator rights, Windows will prompt you to provide the name and password of an account that does have those rights in User Account Control.

See also

Enable or disable macros in Office files

How malware can infect your PC

Microsoft security help and learning

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