Archive for May 12, 2015

Creating an Office 2011 14.5.0 installer

May 12, 2015 7 comments

One of the issues I worked on this week was building a new Office 2011 installer after Microsoft released the Office 2011 14.5.0 update. I have an existing process to build a combined Office 2011 installer¬†using Packages, which I’ve used successfully for a while.

This time though, I hit a problem. When I installed the combined Office 2011 installer with DeployStudio, then logged in, I was asked to enter a product key. Since my work has a volume license, this isn’t a screen I should ever see.

Screen Shot 2015 05 12 at 3 58 11 PM

This is a problem that I’ve seen before with previous Microsoft Office 2011 installers and usually involves the license file not being applied when it should be. This behavior is seen on Macs in the following cases:

  1. Office 2011 is installed and then updated to 14.5.0 while nobody is logged in
  2. Office 2011 is installed and then updated to 14.5.0 without any Office applications being launched between the initial installation and the update.

These two scenarios will likely apply if you’re building a new machine using an automated deployment tool, but likely will not if you’re a home user.

The easiest fix I’ve found in my testing is to get the necessary volume license file from a machine that has Office 14.4.x installed on it and put it back on an as-needed basis.

The needed file is /Library/Preferences/ If you have a volume-licensed version of Office 2011 installed on your Mac, you should have this file.

Screen Shot 2015 05 12 at 4 49 54 PM


To address this issue, you can use Packages’ ability to add resources to a Packages-built package. See below the jump for an an example using an Office 2011 SP 4 installer package, the Office 2011 14.5.0 Update, and the license file to build a unified Office 2011 14.5.0 installer package that does not prompt for a product key.

Update – 5-27-2015: The Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.5.1 Update has the same license-removing issue as 14.5.0. The solution is the same for both 14.5.0 and 14.5.1: put the volume license back on an as-needed basis.

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