Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Tip 4: Understanding Protected View
Understanding Protected View
There’s an excellent chance that you’ve already encountered an Excel feature known as Protected
View. Although it may seem like Excel is trying to keep you from opening your own files, Protected
View is all about protecting you from malware.
Malware refers to something that can harm your system. Hackers have figured out several ways to
manipulate Excel files so that harmful code can execute. Protected View essentially prevents these
types of attacks by opening a file in a protected environment (sometimes called a sandbox ).
If you open an Excel workbook that you downloaded from the web, you’ll see a colorful message
above the Formula bar (see Figure 4-1). In addition, Excel’s title bar displays the text [Protected View] .
Figure 4-1: This message tells you the workbook was opened in Protected View.
If you’re certain that the file is safe, click Enable Editing. If you don’t enable editing, you’ll be able to
view the contents of the workbook, but you won’t be able to make any changes to it.
If the workbook contains macros, you’ll see another message after you enable editing: Security
Warning. Macros Have Been Disabled . If you’re sure that the macros are harmless, click Enable Content.
What causes Protected View?
Protected View kicks in for the following:
➤ Files downloaded from the Internet
➤ Attachments opened from Outlook
➤ Files that open from potentially unsafe locations, such as your Temporary Internet Files
folder
➤ Files that are blocked by File Block Policy (a feature that allows administrators to define
potentially dangerous files)
➤ Files that were digitally signed, but the signature has expired
You have some control over how Protected View works. To change the settings, choose File➜Options
and click Trust Center. Then click the Trust Center Settings button and click the Protected View tab in
the Trust Center dialog box. Figure 4-2 shows the options. By default, all three options are checked.
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