As part of assisting a colleague with a customer today, I needed to figure out how to enable the debug logging for Microsoft AutoUpdate. For Mac admins with a similar need, please see below the jump for details.
Now that Skype for Business has been released for macOS, I’ve been using it as a soft phone solution rather than using an actual phone in my office. I ran into an issue with a conference call today though which forced me to use my cell phone instead of Skype. For more details, see below the jump.
As part of releasing Microsoft Office 2016 15.27, Microsoft has also updated Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) to include an interesting new feature: Automatically Download and Install. In MAU 3.8 and later, this feature will automatically download updates for Office 2016 applications and do the following:
- If an Office application is not running – Automatically install and update the application
- If an Office application is running – Prompt the customer and give them the option of updating later or restarting the application. If the customer chooses to restart their application, the application will be closed, updated and then re-opened
To enable the automated download and install option, open the Microsoft AutoUpdate application and set the Automatically Download and Install option.
For more information on this new feature, please see the following link:
What’s New in Microsoft AutoUpdate 3.8: http://macadmins.software/docs/MAU_38.pdf
To enable the automated download and install option via the command line for Microsoft AutoUpdate 3.8, the following defaults command can run by the logged-in user:
defaults write com.microsoft.autoupdate2 HowToCheck AutomaticDownload
Microsoft is planning to move the MAU preferences to /Library/Preferences as part of an upcoming Microsoft AutoUpdate release, so the following defaults command can be run with root privileges to enable the automated download and install option for those future versions of Microsoft AutoUpdate:
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.autoupdate2 HowToCheck AutomaticDownload
For those who want to enable the automated download and install option using management profiles, I’ve created a .mobileconfig file and posted it here on Github:
As part of rolling out Office 2016 for my shop, I noticed that Office 2011’s Microsoft Document Connection application was no longer included with Office. A number of folks in my shop had been using this application to access documents on our Sharepoint servers, so its absence meant I needed to learn how to access Sharepoint sites using Office 2016.
After some research and discussion with colleagues, I was able to figure out how to connect to Sharepoint from within Office 2016 applications. For more details, see below the jump.
In many shops, Mac admins have a requirement to deploy templates for Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint. With Microsoft Office 2011, this is a relatively straightforward process as there is an existing directory for Word, PowerPoint and Excel templates at the location shown below:
/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/Media/Templates
Template files deployed to this location are available to all users on the Mac.
In contrast, the necessary support directories for templates are not created by Office 2016 by default, so they are not likely to exist unless templates had previously been installed. The reason for this is that Office 2016 apps are sandboxed and don’t have the ability to write to locations outside the application sandbox unless granted permission. Fortunately, the Office team at Microsoft has documented in the PDF document linked below where templates should be installed:
Installing User Content in Office 2016 for Mac:
When I read the documentation, it showed that the correct place to store template files is at the location shown below:
/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Templates.localized
Template files deployed to that location are available to all users on the Mac.
As mentioned previously, the necessary support directories for templates are not created automatically when Office 2016 is installed. To address this, I’ve written a script that will create the needed directory structure. For more information, see below the jump.
Microsoft Office 2016’s applications are sandboxed, which means that they don’t have access to external files and settings by default and need to ask permission from the user. Thomson Reuters’ Endnote software is affected by this because it uses a plug-in for Word 2016. This means that the first time you launch Word 2016 after installing Endnote’s plug-in, you will see a dialog box along with this message:
EndNote needs access to the file named ‘com.ThomsonResearchSoft.EndNote.plist’. Select this file to grant access.
If you’re seeing this dialog box, the com.ThomsonResearchSoft.EndNote.plist file should be already selected. If the file has been selected, please click the Grant Access button. This procedure should only need to be performed once.
However, if you’re seeing this dialog box and the com.ThomsonResearchSoft.EndNote.plist file has not been automatically selected, that means that Endnote has been installed on this Mac but never launched. For more details, see below the jump.
As part of preparing to deploy Office 2016 in my own environment, I wanted to be able to suppress the various “What’s New” dialog windows which are displayed on Office 2016 applications’ first launch to market the applications’ features.
Using the Microsoft Volume License installer to install Office 2016 (or using the volume license serializer package to install the volume license) will include automatic functionality to stop the version-specific “What’s New” dialog windows from appearing. However, I also needed to be able to suppress the initial “What’s New” dialog windows that appear the first launch of Office applications.
In order to suppress the initial “What’s New” dialog windows, certain settings need to be applied to the following files:
Setting: kSubUIAppCompletedFirstRunSetup1507 – boolean value (true / false)
Function: Suppresses the “What’s New” dialog for Office 2016 applications’ first launch.
Applied to the following files:
Setting: FirstRunExperienceCompletedO15 – boolean value (true / false)
Function: Suppresses additional “What’s New” dialog for Outlook and OneNote.
Applied to the following files:
Note: That is a capital letter O in O15, not zero15.
Setting: SendAllTelemetryEnabled – boolean value (true / false)
Function: Suppresses the offer to send crash reports to Microsoft.
Applied to the following files:
To automate the deployment of these settings, I’ve developed a script. For more details, see below the jump.