Removing the “Macros” warning in PowerPoint

When you open any PowerPoint presentation made by my company’s default presentation format, you get a warning that it contains macros and asking whether the macros should be disabled. The macros are useless, but removing this is somewhat awkward and difficult to remember so I’m writing down the instructions.

  1. Launch PowerPoint (these instructions work for Office 2010).
  2. Open the presentation to be fixed.
  3. Go to the File menu, and select “Options”.
  4. Select “Customize Ribbon”.
  5. On the right-hand side of the complex dialog find the “Main Tabs” section. Check the checkbox next to the “Developer” tab.
  6. Click “OK” and return. You should now have a “Developer” menu above the ribbon.
  7. Select the “Developer” menu to display the developer ribbon.
  8. On the ribbon, click the button labeled “Visual Basic”
  9. In the upper-left-hand side of the screen there is something labeled “VBAProject” with sub-folders labeled “Modules” some of which have entries with names like “Module1″. You may have to expand the tree-view widget to see some of these.
  10. For each module, double-clicking will open it. Those that are completely blank (all of them in my company’s template) are useless and can clearly be deleted.
  11. Delete a module by closing it (if you had opened it), then right-clicking on the module and selecting “Remove Module1…”. It will offer to save, but you won’t need to do that.
  12. After doing this for all unwanted modules, go to the “File” menu and select “Close and Return to Microsoft PowerPoint”.
  13. Save your newly-changed document.

By the way, in case anyone couldn’t tell, after experience with it I really hate Microsoft’s “ribbon”. The old approach “Menus” required people to look around through lots of menus to find the commands they needed (although if they used a command frequently, they could read the menu to see what keyboard command would execute that). Power users could modify the menus if they wanted to (but hardly anyone did). In the new “Ribbon” interface, the commands that people use a lot are just one click away — as long as you know what arcane icon represents the action that you want to perform. If you need to find a new command you no longer have to look through the menus to find it… instead you simply perform a web search to find someone else who ran that command and follow the arcane set of clicks that they wrote in order to locate the mysterious and well-hidden button that performs the action. Power-users are people who know how to perform an action without looking it up on the web.


3 Responses to “Removing the “Macros” warning in PowerPoint”

  1. mike wills on 2013-05-23 7:34 pm

    I just have been going through fits with a bunch of old Powerpoint 97-2003 format files suddenly alerting the macro police in PPT 2010. Having rediscovered the Developer Tab (I feel your ribbon pain), I too have been deleting empty Module1s… this is SOOOO not good.

    thanks for the moral support — it’s good to know I’m not the only one.

  2. atmaram on 2013-11-28 3:50 am

    Thanks for the Info This ribbon menu is real pain in the a** it the worst thing ms has done. Thanks a lot.

  3. Matthijs on 2014-01-17 7:40 am

    Thanks for the manual! It is soooo *not* intuitive to solve this macro issue for occasional users – your info helped big time.

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