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I have a Windows 2003 Server box with Excel 2010 installed, upon which I am unable to create new or execute existing macros in spreadsheets. This machine is in a Windows Domain (and I am not getting much help from the network folks here.)

I can and have edited the macro security levels within Excel (File, Options, Trust Center, Macro Settings --> Enable All Macros) but despite this, when I try to:

  1. open a spreadsheet with macros, I get an exception "Excel found unreadable content...." which goes on to refer to the VBA macros within the spreadsheet
  2. create a new macro, all the toolbar buttons providing access to the VBA editor are disabled. (This is in a brand new spreadsheet created on the machine)

Could this be a Group Policy setting that allows me to edit the macro security settings, but overrides these settings and prevents me from actually creating, editing, or executing VBA macros?

I've run rsop.msc (Resultant Set of Policy) on the machine and looked through every single thing under both Computer Configuration and User CConfiguration, but I don't see anything related to Excel (or Office) Security/Macros.

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Is this a terminal server? – Jim B May 8 '12 at 16:24
It is a console session accessed via VNC server. – tbone May 8 '12 at 16:34

This is more likely to be a conversion problem. I would try opening the file in excel 2003 and see if you have the same error. It is certainly possible to have group policy to disable macro creation or execution - but the message is different.

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But even creating a brand new workbook, I am unable to create a new macro. – tbone May 8 '12 at 16:35
up vote 0 down vote accepted

In this case, the problem was that Visual Basic for Applications hadn't been installed when Excel itself was installed.

(As usual, Microsoft could do a much better job of alerting the user to this unusual configuration, but what can you do.)

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