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Archive for the ‘Office 2016’ Category

Suppressing Microsoft AutoUpdate’s Required Data Notice screen

July 23, 2019 12 comments

Suppressing Microsoft AutoUpdate’s Required Data Notice screen

As part of the latest update to Microsoft AutoUpdate app, a new screen has appeared which requires the logged-in user to click on it.

Disable mau required data notice screen

This screen is to notify users that Microsoft AutoUpdate collects diagnostic data for Microsoft and provides basic information on how to opt-out of the data collection. The overall point of the screen is to help Microsoft comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and similar laws.

While this screen is fairly straightforward for an individual to deal with on their own Mac, it may cause challenges for computer labs because those facilities may remove and repopulate user home folders on each login. Since the setting which records that a user has seen the notification is stored in the user’s home folder, in the ~/Library/com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist file, this may result in the lab’s users seeing this notification multiple times unnecessarily. To address this, Microsoft has made suppressing this screen possible by adding the following key and value to the com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist file

  • Key: AcknowledgedDataCollectionPolicy
  • Value: RequiredDataOnly

This setting can be applied with a script or with a configuration profile. For more details, please see below the jump.

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Office 2016 DefaultsToLocalOpenSave setting change as of Office 2016 15.33.x

April 17, 2017 3 comments

As part of the release of Office 2016 15.33.0, a number of managed preference options have been added and some have changed from what they were before. An example of one that has changed is the DefaultsToLocalOpenSave management setting, which sets the Open and Save options in Office 2016 apps to default to On My Mac instead of Online Locations.

In Microsoft Office 2016 15.32.x and earlier, the  DefaultsToLocalOpenSave setting could only be managed by running a command similar to the one below on the individual user accounts:

/usr/bin/defaults write "/path/to/user/homefolder/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/"com.microsoft.officeprefs DefaultsToLocalOpenSave -bool true

To set this for all accounts on a particular Mac, I had written the following script:

#!/bin/bash
# Set the Open and Save options in Office 2016 apps to default to
# "On My Mac" instead of "Online Locations" in the default user template
for USER_TEMPLATE in "/System/Library/User Template"/*
do
/usr/bin/defaults write "${USER_TEMPLATE}/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/"com.microsoft.officeprefs DefaultsToLocalOpenSave -bool true
done
# Set the Open and Save options in Office 2016 apps to default to
# "On My Mac" instead of "Online Locations" in the user folders
# located in /Users, then fixes the permissions on the affected
# file so that the file is owned by the user folder's owner rather
# than being owned by root.
for USER_HOME in /Users/*
do
USER_UID=`basename "${USER_HOME}"`
if [ ! "${USER_UID}" = "Shared" ]; then
if [ ! -d "${USER_HOME}/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office" ]; then
/bin/mkdir -p "${USER_HOME}/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office"
/usr/sbin/chown "${USER_UID}" "${USER_HOME}/Library"
/usr/sbin/chown "${USER_UID}" "${USER_HOME}/Library/Group Containers"
/usr/sbin/chown "${USER_UID}" "${USER_HOME}/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office"
fi
if [ -d "${USER_HOME}/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office" ]; then
/usr/bin/defaults write "${USER_HOME}/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/"com.microsoft.officeprefs DefaultsToLocalOpenSave -bool true
/usr/sbin/chown "${USER_UID}" "${USER_HOME}/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/"com.microsoft.officeprefs.plist
fi
fi
done

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As of Microsoft Office 2016 15.33.x, this setting can now be set at the global level for all users by running the following command with root privileges:

/usr/bin/defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office DefaultsToLocalOpenSave -bool true

I’ve posted an updated script for manage this setting to GitHub, available via the link below:

https://github.com/rtrouton/rtrouton_scripts/tree/master/rtrouton_scripts/set_office_2016_default_save_option_to_on_my_mac

This setting can now also be managed with a profile, so I’ve created a .mobileconfig file and posted it here on Github:

https://github.com/rtrouton/profiles/tree/master/Office2016DefaultToLocalSave

Enabling debug logging for Microsoft AutoUpdate

February 3, 2017 Leave a comment

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.

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Entering additional dialpad numbers after connecting to a call when using Skype for Business

January 24, 2017 2 comments

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.

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Enabling automatic download and installation of Microsoft Office 2016 updates

October 12, 2016 12 comments

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

Pasted image at 2016 09 15 05 09 PM

To enable the automated download and install option, open the Microsoft AutoUpdate application and set the Automatically Download and Install option.

Screen Shot 2016 10 12 at 9 58 42 AM

For more information on this new feature, please see the following link:

What’s New in Microsoft AutoUpdate 3.8http://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:

https://github.com/rtrouton/profiles/tree/master/EnableAutomaticDownloadandInstallofOffice2016Updates

Accessing Sharepoint sites using Microsoft Office 2016

April 29, 2016 4 comments

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.

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Deploying Word, Excel and PowerPoint templates for Microsoft Office 2016

March 6, 2016 2 comments

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.

Screen Shot 2016 03 05 at 9 29 10 PM

 

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:
http://macadmins.software/docs/UserContentIn2016.pdf

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.

Screen Shot 2016 03 05 at 10 12 32 PM

 

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.

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Word 2016 and Endnote’s “com.ThomsonResearchSoft.EndNote.plist” dialog window

February 5, 2016 9 comments

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.

Screen Shot 2016 02 05 at 7 51 34 AM

 

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.

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Suppressing Office 2016’s First Run dialog windows

January 17, 2016 9 comments

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.

Screen Shot 2016 01 16 at 12 05 36 AM

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:

  • /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Outlook.plist
  • /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.PowerPoint.plist
  • /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Excel.plist
  • /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word.plist
  • /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.onenote.mac.plist

Setting: kSubUIAppCompletedFirstRunSetup1507 – boolean value (true / false)
Function: Suppresses the “What’s New” dialog for Office 2016 applications’ first launch.
Applied to the following files:

/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Outlook.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.PowerPoint.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Excel.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.onenote.mac.plist

Setting: FirstRunExperienceCompletedO15 – boolean value (true / false)
Function: Suppresses additional “What’s New” dialog for Outlook and OneNote.
Applied to the following files:

/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Outlook.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.onenote.mac.plist

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:

/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Outlook.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.PowerPoint.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Excel.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word.plist
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.onenote.mac.plist

To automate the deployment of these settings, I’ve developed a script. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

Categories: Office 2016, Scripting

Creating an Office 2016 15.18.0 installer

January 14, 2016 20 comments

Microsoft recently released a new software installer to help make the task of deploying updated copies of Office 2016 for Mac admins a lot easier. This new installer is available along with the latest Office 2016 volume license installer and is named Microsoft_Office_2016_VL_Serializer.pkg.

Screen Shot 2016 01 14 at 9 44 13 AM

This installer is designed to do the following:

  • Activate an unlicensed version of Office 2016 and set it to use the volume license.
  • Convert an existing/activated version of Office 2016 for Mac to use the volume license.
  • Fix the volume license on a machine where the volume license isn’t being recognized.

The installer package (which must be downloaded from Microsoft’s volume license site) makes it possible to install an unlicensed copy of the Microsoft Office 2016 full installer and then set up that copy of Office 2016 to use your shop’s volume license for Office 2016. This is advantageous for the following reasons:

  1. Microsoft usually releases unlicensed Office 2016 full installers much sooner than they release the volume licensed Office 2016 full installer via Microsoft’s volume license site.
  2. Unlicensed Office 2016 full installers can be downloaded from the internet without requiring access to Microsoft’s volume licensing site.

For example, as of January 14, 2016, the latest version of Office 2016 is Office 2016 15.18.0. Microsoft has released an unlicensed Office 2016 15.18.0 full installer for use with Office 365. Meanwhile, the Microsoft volume license site site has Office 2016 15.17.0 available for download.

Downloading an unlicensed Office 2016 full installer

  1. Go to http://macadmins.software (this site is run by Microsoft and is safe to download from.)
  2. Locate the O365/Retail download link (highlighted in bright green in the image below.)
  3. Download an unlicensed Office 2016 full installer which is up-to-date with the latest Office 2016 software

 Screen Shot 2016 01 14 at 9 49 42 AM

I have an existing process which can be used to build a combined Office 2016 installer using Packages, so I decided to apply the same process to building an Office 2016 15.8.0 installer. See below the jump for an example of using Packages to build a combined Office 2016 installer which includes both an unlicensed Office 2016 15.18.0 full installer and the Microsoft_Office_2016_VL_Serializer installer package.

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