The issue with blocking internet macros by default in Office!

Copper Contributor

I am hugely concerned about this recent update and the impact it will have on my business, especially for my clients.


By way of background, I run a software business that is predominantly in a web based application. Once users complete the steps online, they can then download the report into a .docm file. The macros are used for functionality such as:


  1. Inserting a number in one location in the document and it automatically inserts it into another location in the same documents for consistency; and
  2. The Macros create a tab - like where the 'file' tab is - that enables user to re-upload their document back to the web application


With this new update, all of our existing users are going to encounter considerable friction to adjust their settings and this is another barrier and friction for new clients too. 


In fact, three members of our internal team all tried to add our company as a Trusted Publisher on our own devices, and each of us had a different experience that was not referenced in the documentation and we had to find a workaround. In fact, my issue was so problematic that not even the Microsoft Word support person could resolve it and it was only after several hours of me trying to resolve the issue that I figured it out. Clearly this is not feasible for our clients to undergo this same effort. 


Our CTO has ensured that all our macros are digitally signed, but this does not alleviate the main issue of adding a Trusted Publisher for our clients. Before the update, the solution was simple - clients simply had to click 'Enable Content', now it is much more complex.


As such I wanted to know if there was any easier way to be an Trusted Publisher, or a way for us to have the functionality as described above without the use of Macros. For example, do Microsoft have the current capability or plans to do any of the following:


  1. A centralised way to add a Trusted Publisher to a whole organisation? (This way we could converse with the head of IT at our clients firms to implement this change and it won't require each individual person to do it themselves).
  2. A Microsoft approved Trusted Publisher list - provided publishers go through certain security measures Microsoft can certify companies as Trusted Publishers by default so that anyone downloading Macros from someone listed as a Trusted Publisher by default won't have to separately add them through the Trust Center.
  3. For all Macros that are digitally signed the old method of just clicking 'Enable Content' works. For Macros not digitally signed, then the new process (adding to Trusted Publisher) applies. This would be a great balance between the two.

I really hope there is a better solution!

2 Replies
Hi akountourides - I appreciate you sharing your experience. I've shared your feedback with the team so the gaps can be well understood. If you'd like to stay informed on specific updates, you can send me a message via the Tech Community tool and I can get you connected with the team working on these issues. Thanks, Angela

Thanks @Angela Robertson


I have messaged you.