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Tips & Tricks

How to Turn Off “Enable Editing” in Microsoft Office 2010

Are you working in Microsoft Word 2010?  If so, how many times have you tried to jump into a document and start making some changes and nothing happens?  Oh, that’s right….. You forgot to click on that annoying, little, yellow button on the top of the document.  You idiot!

Protected View in Microsoft Office 2010

As annoying as it may be, there are valid reasons for this new security feature in Office 2010, which is an improvement over security features in previous versions of Office.  As explained by the Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering Team

“With any piece of complex software, over time new file parsing exploits against it may be found. The older Office binary file formats had been susceptible to these types of attacks. Over the past years hackers have discovered ways to manipulate Office binary files so that when they are opened and parsed, they cause their own code embedded within the file to run. To address these binary file parsing attacks in Office 2007, several new XML based file formats were introduced.”

If you are generally savvy enough to not open documents from suspicious sources and enjoy an occasional walk on the wild side, well then here is a quick “how-to” on just turning the darn thing off permanently:

1.    Open any Office 2010 application (Ex: Word or Excel).
2.    Click on Office or File button, and select Options.
Microsoft Office 2010 - Enable Editing - File Options
3.    Under Options select “Trust Center” in the left pane.
4.    Click on Trust Center Settings in the right pane.
Microsoft Office 2010 - Enable Editing - File Options
5.    Click on the Protected View in the left pane of “Trust Center” window.
6.    Check/Uncheck Protected Mode Options below to fit your needs

Microsoft Office 2010 - Enable Editing - File Options

If you want to take advantage of this security feature in a customized way, you can actually go back to step 6 and set specific Trusted Publishers, Locations and Documents right from this Window.
Unfortunately, you need to apply these setting to each Microsoft Office application individually.

Hope this tip is helpful and saves you some time!