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Customization overview for Office 2010

Office 2010
 

Applies to: Office 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-11-21

To customize an installation of Microsoft Office 2010, use the Office Customization Tool (OCT), the Config.xml file, or the Setup command-line options.

Administrators can use either the OCT or Group Policy to configure user and computer settings, depending on their business requirements. Administrators can use the OCT to provide initial default values. However, users can change the settings after Office is installed. To enforce settings, administrators must use Group Policy. For more information, see Configure user and computer settings.

In this article:

The following table summarizes the customization methods for Office 2010 clients and describes the recommended scenarios for each method.

 

Tool or method Scenario Results

Use the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to create a Setup customization (.msp) file

The OCT is the recommended tool for most customizations. This includes the following:

  • Entering a volume license key and accepting the Microsoft Software License Terms.

  • Configuring the display level of the user interface.

  • Customizing features and user settings.

  • Customizing the default Microsoft Outlook 2010 profile and Outlook 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 options.

For more information, see Office Customization Tool.

Setup installs a default configuration on all computers to which the customization .msp file is applied. Users can modify most of the settings after the installation.

Edit the Config.xml file

The Config.xml file is used to configure most of the same options that you can configure by using the OCT, including some options that are not available in the OCT. The following options can only be configured in the Config.xml file:

  • Specifying the path of the network installation point.

  • Selecting which product to install.

  • Configuring logging options.

  • Specifying the location of the Setup customization .msp file and software updates.

  • Specifying languages to install or remove.

  • Specifying installation information, such as user name.

  • Copying the local installation source to the user's computer without installing Office 2010.

For more information, see Config.xml file.

Setup installs the specified products and languages on all computers installed by using this Config.xml file. Settings that are specified in the Config.xml file take precedence over duplicate settings in a Setup customization .msp file.

Use Setup command-line options

Setup command-line options are available only for the following customizations:

  • Running the OCT to create a Setup customization .msp file.

  • Specifying the path of a specific Setup customization file or to the folder where you store Office 2010 customization files.

  • Specifying the Config.xml file that Setup uses during the installation.

  • Modifying an existing installation.

  • Repairing a product.

  • Uninstalling a product.

For more information, see Setup command-line options.

Setup applies the customizations when it first installs Office 2010 or when it runs in maintenance mode.

You cannot set Windows Installer properties on the command line.

Use the Group Policy Object Editor Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in to specify policy settings

Used to configure highly restricted or lightly managed configurations that you want to enforce for user and computer settings.

For more information, see Configuring user and computer settings by using Group Policy.

Administrators use Group Policy to define configurations one time, and then they rely on the operating system to enforce that state.

Group Policy for computers is applied at computer startup and Group Policy for users is applied when users log on. Group Policy is also applied subsequently in the background periodically.

The Office Customization Tool (OCT) is part of the Setup program and is the primary tool for most customizations. The OCT saves customizations in a Setup customization (.msp) file, which is applied at either Setup time or during a maintenance mode operation. After you create a network installation point and before you install Office 2010, use the OCT to customize the installation. To start the OCT, click Start, click Run, browse to the root of the network installation point that contains the Office 2010 source files, and type the following at the command prompt: setup.exe /admin. For example: \\server\share\Office14ProPlus\setup.exe /admin.

In Office 2010, two architecture-specific versions of the OCT are available: one for 32-bit Office 2010 and one for 64-bit Office 2010. The 64-bit version of the OCT supports 64-bit client editions of Office 2010, and provides the same user interface, capabilities, and configurable settings as the 32-bit version. You use the same command to run the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the OCT. For instance, to run the 32-bit OCT, run the setup.exe /admin command line from the x86 (32-bit) folder as shown in the following example: \\server\share\Office14\x86\setup.exe /admin. To run the 64-bit OCT, run the setup.exe /admin command line from the x64 (64-bit) folder. For more information about 64-bit Office 2010, see 64-bit editions of Office 2010.

Administrators use the OCT to customize the following areas:

  • Setup   Used to specify default installation location and default organization name, additional network installation sources, the product key, end-user license agreement, display level, earlier versions of Office to remove, custom programs to run during installation, security settings, and Setup properties.

  • Features   Used to configure user settings and to customize how Office features are installed.

  • Additional content   Used to add or remove files, add or remove registry entries, and configure shortcuts.

  • Outlook   Used to customize a user's default Outlook profile, specify Exchange settings, add accounts, remove accounts and export settings, and specify Send\Receive groups.

For more information about how to use the OCT, see the following resources:

Administrators can also configure some installation options by using the Config.xml file.

The Config.xml file is used to specify installation options, and it runs only during setup. You can use the Config.xml file to configure most of the same options that you can configure with the OCT, including a few additional options that are not available in the OCT. The Config.xml is not installed or cached on users’ computers. The Config.xml file that is stored in the core product folders (core_product_folder_name.WW folder such as ProPlus.WW for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010) directs Setup to install that product. If the network installation point contains multiple Office 2010 products, you can use the /config command-line option when you run Setup.exe to specify the path of the Office 2010 product that you want to install; if you do this, it will prevent Setup from prompting you about which product to install. For more information about Setup commands, see Setup command-line options for Office 2010.

If you use both an OCT Setup customization (.msp) file and the Config.xml to customize the installation, the settings that you specify in Config.xml take precedence over those in the Setup customization file. The Config.xml file in Office 2010 article provides detailed information about the installation options and indicates if a setting has a corresponding OCT setting.

You can also use the Config.xml file for maintenance operations such as adding or removing features, and repairs and uninstalls. To do this, you must run Setup again from the original source.

The following customizations can only be made by using the Config.xml file:

  • Specifying the path of the network installation point.

  • Selecting the products to install.

  • Customizing Setup options, including logging, and the location of the Setup customization file and software updates.

  • Specifying installation options, such as user name.

  • Copying the local installation source (LIS) to the user's computer without installing Office.

  • Adding or removing languages from the installation.

Administrators can also use Setup.exe command-line options to perform the following tasks:

  • Run the OCT to create a Setup customization (.msp) file.

  • Specify a path of a specific Setup customization file or to the folder where you store Office 2010 customization files.

  • Specify the Config.xml file that Setup uses during the installation.

  • Run Setup in maintenance mode and make changes to an existing Office installation.

  • Run Setup to repair the specified product from the user's computer.

  • Run Setup to remove the specified product from the user's computer.

The following table lists the commands that Setup supports.

 

Command Description

/admin

Runs the OCT to create or modify a Setup customization file (.msp file).

/adminfile [path]

Applies the specified Setup customization file to the installation and can be used only for initial installations. You can specify a path of a specific customization file (.msp file) or to the folder where you store customization files.

/config [path]

Specifies the Config.xml file that Setup uses during the installation. By default, the Config.xml file that is stored in the core product folder directs Setup to install that product. For example, the Config.xml file in the ProPlus.WW folder installs Office Professional Plus 2010.

/modify [ProductID]

Used with a modified Config.xml file to run Setup in maintenance mode and make changes to an existing Office installation. For example, you can use the /modify option to add or remove features. Look up the value of [ProductID] in the Setup.xml file for the product that you want to modify.

/repair [ProductID]

Runs Setup to repair the specified product from the user’s computer. Look up the value of [ProductID] in the Setup.xml file for the product that you want to modify.

/uninstall [ProductID]

Runs Setup to remove the specified product from the user’s computer. Look up the value of [ProductID] in the Setup.xml file for the product that you want to modify.

For more detailed information about Setup commands, see Setup command-line options for Office 2010.

As mentioned previously, depending on whether administrators must enforce user settings or whether they want to allow users to modify the settings after the installation, administrators use either Group Policy or the OCT. The majority of the Group Policy and OCT settings for Office are user settings. Most of the Office policy settings have a corresponding OCT setting.

Group Policy and the OCT can be used to configure user and computer settings for the following Office applications:

  • Microsoft Access 2010

  • Microsoft Excel 2010

  • Microsoft InfoPath 2010

  • Microsoft Office 2010 System

  • Microsoft OneNote 2010

  • Microsoft Outlook 2010

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

  • Microsoft Project 2010

  • Microsoft Publisher 2010

  • Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010

  • Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010

  • Microsoft Visio 2010

  • Microsoft Word 2010

Group Policy is an infrastructure that administrators can use to implement specific computing configurations for users and computers. Policy settings can also be applied to member servers and domain controllers within the scope of an Active Directory forest. Administrators use Group Policy to define configurations once and then rely on the operating system to enforce that state.

Group Policy settings are contained in Group Policy objects (GPOs), which are linked to selected Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) containers — sites, domains, or organizational units (OUs). The settings within GPOs are evaluated by the affected targets using the AD DS hierarchical container structure.

The Group Policy infrastructure consists of a Group Policy engine and several individual extensions. These extensions are used to configure Group Policy settings, either by modifying the registry through the Administrative Templates extension, or by configuring Group Policy settings for security settings, software installation, folder redirection, Internet Explorer Maintenance, wireless network settings, and other areas. The Office policy settings are contained in Administrative Template (.adm or .admx and .adml) files.

To mandate Office settings configurations for users and computers, the administrator uses Group Policy, and the operating system enforces those policy settings. For example, use Group Policy to mandate security settings to help counter attacks that target e-mail and desktop documents. In an Active Directory-based environment, administrators apply policy settings to groups of users and computers in a site, domain, or OU to which a GPO is linked. True policy settings are written to the approved registry key locations for policy, and these settings have access control list (ACL) restrictions that prevent non-administrator users from changing them. Administrators use Group Policy to create highly restricted or lightly managed desktop configurations, depending on their specific business and security requirements. Group Policy settings have precedence over OCT settings.

The following table lists the approved registry key locations for Group Policy settings. Users cannot change or disable these settings.

 

For computer policy settings For user policy settings

HKLM\Software\Policies (the preferred location)

HKCU\Software\Policies (the preferred location)

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

For Office 2010, user-specific policy settings are stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0 subkey. Computer-specific policies are stored in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0 subkey. By default, both policy subkeys are locked to prevent users from modifying them.

Group Policy settings can be set to one of three states:

  • Not configured   The policy setting is not enforced.

  • Enabled   The policy setting is activated. Additional settings appear in the Properties page for some policy settings. These settings determine what happens when the policy setting is enforced.

  • Disabled   For most policy settings, the Disabled state enforces the opposite behavior to that of the Enabled state. For example, if Enabled forces a feature's state to Off, Disabled forces the feature's state to On.

    For more information about using Group Policy, see Use Group Policy to enforce Office 2010 settings.

To specify initial default values of Office application settings for users and computers, administrators use the OCT to specify settings in a Setup customization .msp file. Users can modify most of the settings after the installation. This is because the OCT configures settings in publicly available portions of the registry, such as HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0 for user settings and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0 for computer settings.

OCT settings can be set to one of the following states:

  • Not Configured   The setting remains as it is.

  • Enabled   The setting is modified based on your choices in the Properties page for the setting.

  • Disabled   The setting is disabled. Disabling an option might be different from not configuring the option. See the description of the specific option for more information.

Microsoft policy requires the activation of all editions of Office 2010 client software, including those obtained through a Volume Licensing program. This requirement applies to Office 2010 running on both physical computers and virtual computers. Activation is not required for any Office 2010 server products: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Project Server 2010, or any version of Microsoft Exchange Server. In Office 2010, the activation method uses Office Activation Technologies, based on the Software Protection Platform introduced in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 families.

You can use the following methods to activate Office 2010 by using Office Activation Technologies, which are the same methods that are used for Windows Vista and later versions of Windows:

  • Key Management Service (KMS). KMS uses a KMS host key to activate a KMS host computer and establish a local activation service in your environment. Office 2010 connects to the local KMS host for activation. Office 2010 enterprise deployments that are using Key Management Service (KMS) activation do not require a product key entry because all Volume License editions of Office 2010 have a KMS client key pre-installed. However, administrators must configure a KMS host computer with a KMS host key to be activated and to establish a local activation service in your environment. Office 2010 connects to the local KMS host for activation. KMS is the default option for Volume Licensed clients.

  • Multiple Activation Key (MAK). With a MAK, clients activate Office 2010 online with the Microsoft hosted activation servers or by telephone. MAK is appropriate for organizations with computers that are not connected to the corporate network for long periods of time, such as portable computers. If you use the MAK method, Office 2010 must be installed with a MAK key instead of the default KMS client key used in Volume License editions of Office 2010. MAK activation by telephone will be supported later when the product releases (RTM).

  • A combination of KMS and MAK.

For detailed information about licensing and activation of Office 2010 clients, we recommend that you read the following articles before you customize the installation: Volume activation overview for Office 2010, Plan volume activation of Office 2010, Volume activation quick start guide for Office 2010, Deploy volume activation of Office 2010, Tools to configure client computers in Office 2010.

The following illustration summarizes the tasks to perform to customize an Office 2010 client installation. As with any software deployment, your Office 2010 client deployment plans must include testing in a non-production environment and conducting pilot tests with small groups of users before you deploy to all users in the organization.

Office 2010 client customization flowchart

The following resources provide information about planning and about customization tasks for Office 2010 client installations:

For information about managing Office for Mac on client computers in your organization, see Customize and deploy Office for Mac Standard 2011 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212909) in the Office for Mac documentation.

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