I get “please enable macros” message


Tagshelp, Microsoft, Policytracker spectrum database, Spectrum research service

Some people try to open the PolicyTracker Spectrum Database (PSD) but instead of going to the procedure which allows them to enter a password they get a “please enable macros” message and no access to the data!

The usual reason for this relates to the security settings on your copy of Excel. You can only use the PSD when you have enabled macros – when macros can’t run then the PSD will not open.

Here’s how to enable macros in different versions of excel:

Pre-2007 Excel 

  • If a pop-up menu appears: choose “enable macros” 
  • If no pop up menu appears: 
    • Got to tools/menu/macros/security/security level tab – set this to medium

Excel 2007 and later

  • If the security toolbar appears choose “enable this content” in the pop up menu
  • If no toolbar appears:
    • Click Office button in top left  corner
    • Choose Excel options/Trust centre/Trust centre settings/Macro settings/ 
    • Choose “disable all macros with notification”


There is also more information on Microsoft’s help page

Once you have made the changes above re-open the PSD file and you should be able to choose a password.