What Is a Macro-Enabled PowerPoint Presentation?

By Rebecca Johnson

A macro-enabled PowerPoint presentation is a presentation that uses macros. Microsoft Office 2007 began to implement security enhancements to protect against malicious threats, including offering two file types in PowerPoint presentations: .pptx and .pptm. To effectively implement them, users need to understand security risks associated with macros, how to change PowerPoint macro settings and how to save a presentation that contains macros.

Macros

All Microsoft Office programs use macros to automate routine tasks, such as applying formatting to shapes and text, inserting drawing images and switching printers. Essentially, a macro takes a series of tasks and compiles them. This enables you to perform a complex task or complete numerous steps with just one button click or keyboard command. PowerPoint also uses macros to complete tasks while running the presentation, such as opening other presentations, moving to different slides based on audience questions or running a video.

Macros Security Risks

Macros are executable files. Executables can contain malicious code that can harm your computer. Since a hacker can insert destructive code or introduce a computer virus, you should only run macros from trusted sources. Trusted sources include developers from your organization or macros and add-ins available for download in Microsoft's official Downloads Marketplace at Office.com.

Macro Settings

When you open a presentation that contains macros, a yellow bar appears at the top of your screen. Click the “Enable Macros” button on the yellow bar to enable the macros for that session. To change global macro settings within PowerPoint, click “Backstage View” on the “File” tab. “Backstage” view is only available if the yellow message bar is active. If the message bar is not active, choose “Options” from the “File” tab and select “Trust Center.” Choose to “Disable All Macros Without Notification,” “Disable All Macros With Notification,” “Disable All Macros Except Digitally Signed Macros” or “Enable All Macros (Not Recommended; Potentially Unsafe Code Can Run.)"

Saving Macro-Enabled Presentations

In order to save a macro-enabled presentation, you need to change the file extension. The standard file extension, .pptx, will not allow you to save any presentation that has VBA code associated with it. To change the file extension, select “Save As” from the “File” tab. Navigate to the location where you want to save the presentation and provide a presentation name. Select “PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation” from the “Save As Type” drop-down menu and click “Save.”