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Word: Macro-enabled templates stripped by Dropbox?

May 2, 2019

Well, well, well! I haven’t encountered this before, but it looks as though Dropbox.com stripped the macros from two Word templates I created for a client earlier this week.

I’d emailed her the templates (dotm files) on Tuesday, and sent some follow-up notes on Wednesday. Today (Thursday) she contacted me to ask if I’d sent the templates because she hadn’t received them. I thought that maybe her email provider’s security settings were stopping them getting through, so I zipped them up and emailed her the zip file. The zip file didn’t get to her either, so I created a folder for her in my Dropbox.com account and put the individual template files there and sent her the link to the folder.

She was able to download the templates, but when she tried to run them, she got error messages about the macros. She contacted her IT people and me. I’ve just got off the phone with her IT guy—he also had trouble with the templates and had macro error messages, and when I walked him through where the macros should be, they weren’t there. I emailed him a zip file, but he didn’t get that either. I also put the zip file into the Dropbox.com folder, and he was able to get that. Once he’d extracted the files locally, he was able to open a new document based on the template successfully AND run the macros without error. He also did some quick Googling and found that Dropbox.com DOES strip macros from Word templates. But not from those files stored in zip files—yet.

What are we to do? I use Word macros to save myself and authors enormous amounts of time. This is part of my job. My clients want quick and easy ways to apply corporate formatting to imported Excel tables and the like, to add landscape pages without angst, and so on. I create or modify macro-enabled templates for my clients and need to send the revised versions to them. If email settings and now Dropbox.com are either not allowing the templates through, or are stripping the macros out of them, how are those of us who live remotely from our clients meant to do our jobs?

4 comments

  1. Hi, I wouldn’t use dropbox for any unsecured business information. I would think the customer would be able to have a secure drop location for your stuff? For myself, I have a personal website that I temporarily upload a zip to and then delete rather than using a service site. Not sure that is all that secure, but usually it’s just family pics. :-)

    Thanks for the info though!


  2. Hi Rhonda, I’m sure you are the person who would know if there is a Word 2010 macro script that could be used to scrub out terms in a doc? Like looping through a group of search terms that allows a stop at each one to confirm the change? We’ve got a bunch of docs that we seem to always miss scrubbing things for. I think having a fixed scrub list would be good…thoughts? thanks!:-) joan


  3. Hi Joan

    I’ve never had/seen a macro like that (though I’m sure someone, somewhere has created one). Because you need to verify the terms before deleting them, perhaps this one—which highlights a set of terms defined by you—might help: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/word-find-and-highlight-multiple-words-at-once/. It doesn’t do the deletion, but it can find and highlight all those terms in a second or two. You could then search for anything highlighted, check it, and delete it if necessary.

    –Rhonda


  4. That is certainly a step in the right direction! Thank you! If I come up with anything else, I’ll be sure to share.



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