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Manage & Reference Macros externally, instead of embedded in the spreadsheet

Posted on 2011-11-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
We have an engineer at our company that likes to create a bunch of spreadsheets and write macros for just about anything he can think of (he apparently has alot of free time at home).  We can't verify or validate the macros are non-harmful and want to be able to control the use of macros in Excel in general.

I've been digging around trying to find a way to remove all macros from an Excel document and then have the document reference the macros from an external source (network path), basically having the document access and use the macros in the external macro file (.bas?).  The only thing I could come up with was creating an Add-In, which I did as a test and that works fine.  But we don't want to have to make users activate an add-in manually and we couldn't find a way through Group Policy to get Excel to auto-install the add-in.  The only thing we could find was using a macro to do the add-in install, which defeats the whole purpose of removing macros from the document itself.

Basically, we want to change our Macro security to High and manage the macros in an external file (like one master macro file or several macro files).  Is there any way to do this?  We're hoping that, by doing this, we can curb the mass macro creation that this engineer is doing and give us more control over what macros are being used.
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Question by:1SmokinJoe
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philip m o'brien earned 2000 total points
ID: 37062487
1SmokinJoe,
You can do this relatively simply by going down the authorised XLAs route, but it requires you to firstly create (or have a developer create) the add-in/s you want, and then to deploy them. The following links may be of help in getting you started down this route:
http://pariswells.com/blog/fixes/deploy-xla-via-group-policy
http://www.appdeploy.com/messageboards/tm.asp?m=56311

Give me a shout if you would like me to go into this in more detail.

The other option would be to go down the route of having fully-fledged dictator applications, but that's a fairly hefty route to go down as they require extensive development.
Regards
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by:1SmokinJoe
ID: 37063335
Subversive,

Thanks for the links.  We may try the group policy method, using a batch file.  I didn't think of trying that, but it makes sense.  We'll do some experimentation/testing to see how it all works forus.
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by:philip m o'brien
ID: 37063477
No problem, if you find you need further help then just let me know.
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