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HMRC internal manual

Shared Workspace Business Manual

Other Considerations: Macros

Documents stored in Shared Workspace such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel may contain sequences of actions or commands called Macros. These often enhance the document they are attached to by allowing the user to complete a series of pre-defined actions with just one keystroke.

Macros can be very sophisticated and can complete any action that the user enabling them is empowered to use. This could include deleting all personal files or issuing an e-mail to every member of a personal mail box. Clearly there is much potential for a Macro to cause severe damage to your computer system but the threat can be easily managed and averted.

A warning is always displayed when a document containing macros is opened. If you are not completely sure that macros contained in the document are suitable or compatible for use on your computer system you should select the option to disable macros. This will not prevent the document from opening but will stop the macros it contains from running and safeguard you from any damage the macro might cause.


Shared Workspace will always tell you who has created a document so you are always able to contact the author of a document to find out the reason for the macros.

The installation of virus scanning software will help reduce the risk of downloading a malicious Macro that could damage your computer system. See Anti-virus SW07560