Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Opening Files—with a Twist
Opening Files
Excel doesn’t need to hassle you with questions when you try to view the file (such
as “are you sure you want to open this file?”). Because Excel’s protected view has
bulletproof security, it’s a safe way to view the most suspicious spreadsheet.
At this point, you’re probably wondering about the risks of rogue spreadsheets.
Truthfully, they’re quite small. The most obvious danger is macro code : miniature
programs that are stored in a spreadsheet file and can perform Excel tasks. Poorly
written or malicious macro code can tamper with your Excel settings, lock up the
program, and even scramble your data. But before you panic, consider this: Excel
macro viruses are very rare, and the .xlsx file format doesn’t even allow macro code.
Instead, macro-containing files must be saved as .xlsm or .xlsb files.
The more subtle danger is that crafty hackers could create corrupted Excel files that
might exploit tiny security holes in the program. One of these files could scramble
Excel’s brains in a dangerous way, possibly causing it to execute a scrap of malicious
computer code that could do almost anything. Once again, this sort of attack is
extremely rare. It might not even be possible with the up-to-date .xlsx file format. But
protected view completely removes any chance of an attack, which helps corporate
bigwigs sleep at night.
Figure 14-26:
Currently, this file is
in protected view. If
you decide that it’s
safe and you need to
edit its content, click
the Enable Editing
button to open in the
normal Excel window
with no security
safeguards.
Opening Files—with a Twist
The Open dialog box harbors a few tricks. To see these hidden secrets, first select
the file you want to use (by clicking it once, not twice), and then click the dropdown
arrow on the right-side of the Open button. A menu with several additional options
appears, as shown in Figure 14-27.
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