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A macro virus is a computer virus that "infects" a Microsoft Word or similar application and causes a sequence of actions to be performed automatically when the application is started or something else triggers it. Macro viruses tend to be surprising but relatively harmless. A typical effect is the undesired insertion of some comic text at certain points when writing a line. A macro virus is often spread as an e-mail virus. A well-known example in March, 1999 was the Melissa virus virus.