We finally decided to address something that has been bugging us for a while - to wit, figuring out how to launch applications from a Microsoft Outlook appointment or a task list item. When you think about it, this is a really obvious and useful thing to be able to do and much more elegant in many ways than using the Windows scheduler. Like the idea? Good, then let us begin ...We finally decided to address something that has been bugging us for a while - to wit, figuring out how to launch applications from a Microsoft Outlook appointment or a task list item. When you think about it, this is a really obvious and useful thing to be able to do and much more elegant in many ways than using the Windows scheduler. Like the idea? Good, then let us begin\u00a0 ...To run an application from Outlook as we intend we need to add a Visual Basic for Applications script, which, in turn, requires that we have installed VBA support in Office. But if you have your Outlook security settings set to "kill" (high) rather than "stun" (medium) you will need to make some changes.And you might have noticed that Outlook's security in Office 2003 is much tougher than it used to be. If you've run a utility such as\u00a0Infuzer, which places the local weather forecast for the next five days in your Outlook Calendar, you will be aware that Microsoft's security system demands that you confirm that it's OK for Infuzer to perform the update every time it runs. Very annoying.We just found a utility that appears to fix this.\u00a0Express ClickYes\u00a0from ExpressSoft\u00a0sits in the Windows TaskBar and its job, in effect, is to click "Yes" when the Outlook Security Guard opens that dialog box that says a program is trying to access Outlook and asks if you want to allow it.To ice the cake, ExpressSoft includes example code in various languages that lets you switch ClickYes on and off. Outstanding, and it is free. Thank you, ExpressSoft.Anyway, when you open Outlook and you have macros defined, you will get a warning unless you have switched to low security. This is because macros can be big security risks to Office applications, and hackers have used them as a platform of worms. So what you need to do is get Outlook to trust your macros and only complain when it finds a macro from an unrecognized source. So we are going to "sign" your macros.We start by launching Windows Explorer and navigating to the Office directory (usually "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOFFICEnn," where nn is the release version - Office 2003 is release 11). In this subdirectory you will find selfcert.exe - go on, run it! Selfcert.exe generates a self-signed digital certificate. All you need to do is enter a name for the certificate and click "OK," and you should get a message indicating that a certificate was created (read more).Next you need to install your new certificate in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities for your PC. Under Windows 2000\/XP use "Run" on the Start menu and launch mmc.exe, the Microsoft Management Console utility.From the File menu click "Add\/Remove Snap-In" and then click "Add." In the resulting list, select "Certificates" and click "Add" at the bottom of the dialog, and then click on "My User Account," "Finish," "Close" and finally "OK." You are now back in the main window of MMC, so expand the branch:Console RootCertificates - Current UserPersonalCertificatesUnder the leaf of the branch above, you should find the certificate you just created. Now you have to right click and then drag and drop this certificate to the branch:Console RootCertificates - Current UserTrusted Root Certification AuthoritiesCertificates . . . and when you release the mouse you must select "Copy here" rather than "Move here" - the certificate needs to be in both locations. (Stick with us here, we're almost done.)Next close Outlook if it is open then restart it so Outlook recognizes the new configuration. Now run the Visual Basic Editor (on the Outlook menu bar go to "Tools | Macro | Visual Basic Editor") and in the editor window select "Tools | Digital Signature" and click "Choose" and select the certificate you have just created. Now click "OK" and restart Outlook, which lets the new settings take effect.When Outlook starts this time you will see a new dialog that informs you that the macro has been signed with an untrusted certificate, so you should check "Always trust macros from this source" and then click on "Enable macros."Now when you start Outlook in the future you won't get any warnings. Easy wasn't it? No . . . the only thing we didn't have to do was sacrifice a chicken.No matter. We now can get on with extending Outlook . . . and we're out of space.Next week,\u00a0we'll cut some code. Overwhelming excitement to firstname.lastname@example.org.