Trust issues and Excel: how to open other people’s NodeXL documents

Mar 15, 2015 at 5:22 PM
Trust issues and Excel: how to open other people’s NodeXL documents

By Marc Smith and Derek Hansen

Microsoft Office applications have trust issues.

When you download a NodeXL workbook from a different machine (perhaps from you may get an error like this one that mentions “trusted locations”.

************** Exception Text **************
This document contains custom code that cannot be
loaded because the location is not in your trusted
locations list: Sample_Facebook_Egonetwork.xlsx. If you
trust this document you can save and open it from a
location on your computer.
For more information,

This problem is caused by a lack of trust. Excel documents may contain harmful code (“malware”) and the solution Microsoft created was the idea of “Trusted Locations”. Only folders that have been identified as “trusted locations” will allow you to open Excel files that run embedded code, which are needed by NodeXL to run.

Below are the steps needed to make a folder a trusted location. Once you have done that, NodeXL files stored in that folder will no longer display this error when they are opened.

__Step 1: Open Excel Options from the File Menu in Excel
Select: Excel File Menu>Options

The Excel Options dialog. Select “Trust Center”.

__Step 2: Choose the Trust Center tab on the menu on the left

The Excel Trust Center dialog. Select “Trust Center Settings”.

__Step 3: Add a new trusted location where you will store your NodeXL files

__Step 4. The Excel Trusted Locations dialog. Select “Add new location…”.
The Excel Trusted Location dialog. Enter the path to your NodeXL directory here.

Select the “Subfolders of this location are also trusted”. Select OK to every dialog.

It is not recommended that the download directory for your browser be granted Trusted location status. This will require NodeXL users to download files and then copy or move them to a Trusted Location in order to open and use the complete NodeXL functionality in the file.