Sharni-Lee (and other interested parties),
Here are the step-by-step directions I've put together for this since the question gets asked repeatedly:
To turn off Protected Mode for Downloaded MS-Office Documents
This applies in Word, Excel, Access, etc. You have to do this in each program where you want the nag off.
1. File Menu, Options Item
2. In Options Dialog, Trust Center Pane
3. Once Trust Center Pane is up, activate Trust Center Settings button (or Hit ALT+T)
4. In Trust Center Settings, Protected View Pane
5. In Protected View Pane, under the Protected View Group, uncheck whichever of the protected views you’d prefer not to deal with. Leave the Data Execution Prevention Group untouched (and this feature is enabled by default).
Note well: If you disable Protected View then be very, very certain that you trust the source of the file you intend to open, whether it was sent as an e-mail attachment or downloaded. Ideally, it should be virus scanned, at a minimum, before you consider opening it. On many computers your antivirus software or security suite automatically scans anything you download and if you’re sure your setup does this you are reasonably safe in opening files acquired from sources you trust.
I worry a lot. . . I worry that no matter how cynical you become it's never enough to keep up.
~ Trudy, in Jane Wagner's "Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe"