Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Opening a Database
Access opens the database.
If you see an alarming security message, check out the nearby sidebar
“Security warning: Active content disabled.”
When you work with a database, panes and tabs appear within the Access
window. Exactly what you see depends on the database. A simple database
displays the Navigation Pane, described later in this chapter. Some databases
display a form and hide the Navigation Pane. You can also program the
database to hide the standard Access components (see Book VII, Chapter 3).
Security warning: Active content disabled
If you try to open a database containing any programming (in the form of macros, Visual Basic for
Applications [VBA] procedures, or action queries, which we explain in later minibooks), Microsoft
wants you to know that you’re taking a chance and displays this warning:
Before you panic, consider that unlike viruses in the real world, computer viruses don’t just
happen. A virus is a program that must be intentionally written by a human to do bad things and
also to make copies of itself.
So why does Access display a security warning? The warning appears whenever you open any
document that contains any macros, VBA modules, or action queries. Access doesn’t know
whether the database contains viruses; it just tells you that programs of some sort — not
necessarily viruses — are in the database. To protect you, Access opens the database, turns off the
capability to execute code, and displays a warning.
What you do next depends on where the database you’re opening came from:
✓ If you downloaded the database from an unknown, dubious source, leave the database
content disabled. To be even safer, close the database; create a new blank database; and import
the tables, queries, forms, and reports into it (but don’t import any macros or VBA code).
✓ If the database came from someone within your organization whom you trust, click the
Enable Content button on the message bar.
✓ If you created the database, and that database is supposed to contain macros, VBA
procedures, or action queries, you can prevent Access from displaying the security message when
you open the database. (See Book VI, Chapter 1 for details on security settings for a database
that contains macros or VBA modules.)
If you have antivirus software, you’d do well to scan any and all files you download from the
Internet for viruses before you actually open such files. These days, most viruses spread through
e-mail attachments or files downloaded from the Web. Virtually all antivirus programs
automatically scan all incoming e-mail attachments for viruses before allowing you to open them. The
Internet For Dummies , 13th Edition, by John R. Levine and Margaret Levine Young (John Wiley &
Sons, Inc.), describes viruses and spyware, and discusses how to avoid them.