Microsoft Office

Revision as of 13:08, 18 October 2009 by Christopher Hunt (talk | contribs) (→‎MS Office Compatibility: - Added "Exporting email contacts" section)

See also



Corrupted install

Case: when you try to start Word, you get an error msg: "Word has failed to start in safe mode. Do you want to try to repair your installation?"

Reason for this is unknown. Solution is simply to click through the messages to repair / "clean" your MS Office installation; in at least some cases, you do not even need the Office install CD to do so.

MS Office versions don't always line up perfectly. Even if it says "MS Office Pro 2003", doesn't mean that your MS Office Pro 2003 disk will be able to do a repair install. In many of these cases, the only fix is just to remove Office and reinstall it from scratch, making any needed modifications.

Cannot open older files

Office 2003 SP3, as well as Office 2007 and Office 2008 for Mac will refuse to open documents created with very old versions of MS Office. There is a fix.


  1. Close all word documents and windows.
  2. Click on Start => Run
  3. Enter this text:
  4. Click OK, then when asked "Are you sure you want to enter this information?", click YES.


  1. Click on Start => Run:
  2. Enter this text:
  3. Click OK. In the folder that opens double-click FIX-OF03-OF07-open-blocked-files.reg, then click Yes.


See this article for more details: Office 2008 for Mac - can't open files

Proofing Tools

In the US English version of Office 2003, only English, Spanish and French proofing tools (spell/grammar checks) are available. For details see Proofing Tools That Come Standard in Office 2003

What Proofing Tools are Standard in Office 2003

Outlook, Excel, Word are slow or freeze when opening, saving, attaching files

  • Most likely cause:
    This can happen if there are disconnected network drives (in My Computer) pointing to novell servers (tigercat, ocelot or snowleopard) that aren't properly disconnected.
  • Solution:
    Open My Computer, click on Tools => Disconnect Network Drives, then select any drives pointing to tigercat, ocelot or snowleopard, and click OK.

MS Office Compatibility

File formats in Office 2007 & 2008

By default, Office 2007/2008 programs will save in an Open XML format. At a glance, it simply looks as though all they did was add an extra 'x' at the end of all the existing file extensions:

  • .doc => .docx
  • .xls => .xlsx
  • .ppt => .pptx

The new format is incompatible with Office 2003. People should avoid saving in this (default) format. To ensure compatibility on documents that you intend to work on with other computers or collaborative works, save files using the office 97-2003 format. This can be done by changing the format to the Office 97-2003 format in the dialog box at the time of saving. You may also change the default saving format from the open XML to office 97-2003 in each application. This can be done by:

  • Click on the office button
  • Select O options (where O is the name of the program you are working in)
  • Select save and for save format, select the O 97-2003 document

If user needs to open a .docx file, MS Office 2007 Compatibility Pack can be installed (requires MS Office). Alternatively, OpenOffice.org version 3 can also view and edit .docx files, although it cannot save to this format.

Very old file formats

Case: professor has some ancient MS Word documents (from a legecy Office Mac version), can't open them anymore because Office doesn't have the filters needed to read the files.

MS Office's "Recover text from any file" feature can recover the text from these documents. OpenOffice can sometimes open older files. Neither of these preserved formatting in this instance.

Exporting a Filemaker database to MS Excel

  1. Open the database in Filemaker.
  2. Click on the File menu
  3. Cick on Import/Export
  4. Click on Export
  5. In the window that opens, near the bottom, next to "Save as type", select "Comma-separated Text (CSV)"
  6. Choose where you want to save the exported doccument, give it a name and click "Save"

Importing / exporting e-mail contacts

Compatability through CSV files: When you export contacts to CSV (comma-separated values), the generated file is actually pretty similar to an Excel spreadsheet and can be viewed / edited by MS Excel or OOo Calc. If you make a couple of contacts in Outlook or Entourage, then export them to CSV, then open the file in Calc, you can take a look for yourself. Now older programs (for example, FileMaker Pro 6) might be able to export to CSV but might not have the column headers on the top row. Fortunately, you can just manually write them in by comparing the labels with the labels specified on the CSV you exported from the program you want to gain compatability with.


Acrobat Pro version 7 is not compatible with Office 2007

  • Some functions (like File => Print => Acrobat PDF) work, but in general it's not compatible.

Creating PDF documents from Word and preserving hyperlinks

  • In Word, if you have a document that has embedded hyperlinks, the links may not be preserved if you use File => Print => Adobe PDF. They are preserved if you choose the "Convert to Adobe PDF" option under the "Adobe PDF" menu, next to "Help", in Word.

MS Word freeze-ups

  • Due to unavailable network printer: If a network printer is configured as a default printer and the computer is connected to the internet but the printer is not available (for example, if the computer is off-campus), Word may hang when you open the Print dialog box. (Acc. some reports, may even cause Word 2003 to freeze on launching.) Solution: change default printer. PDFCreator [1]?
  • Due to unavailable mapped network drive: In MS Word, when you go to Save As..., Word tries to scan all mapped drives listed in the pulldown menu to determine whether they are available. If a mapped drive can't be reached, Word will keep trying to ping it until it finally times out and gives up - but it doesn't learn from this giving up for next time. Solution: Go to My Computer and unmap any unavailable drives - but make sure the user has a way of getting back to them again. (Shortcut on desktop?)

Removing a phantom horizontal rule/bar/line

  1. Select the paragraph where the horizontal bar appears and click on the "Format" menu, then select "Borders and Shading".
  2. Click on the Borders Tab.
  3. Under "Setting", click in on "None", and click OK.

How do I turn off the border on a text box in MS Word?

For Office 2003 and earlier:

  1. Place the cursor inside the text box
  2. From the Format menu, select Text Box
  3. Under the "Line" section choose "No Line" from the "Color" dropdown menu

For Office 2007:

  1. Place the cursor inside the text box
  2. From the Format tab, select "Shape Outline" and click "No Outline"

Remove blue wavy underlines in Word

In Microsoft Word:

  • Go to: Tools -> Options
  • Click on the Edit tab
  • Uncheck the box beside "Mark formatting inconsistencies."

Shutting off the Reading Layout view in Word 2003

In Word 2003 How to stop it from opening in the double pane view for proofing or reading (called reading layout).

  1. Tools/Options
  2. Choose General tab
  3. Uncheck the box beside "allow starting in Reading Layout"

Macros and viruses

Word documents can contain macros which are small scripts that automatically perform complex or repetitive actions in MS Word. Unfortunately macros can also have extensive control over your computer, so they can be used to write viruses. Any system that can run macros in a MS Word document, is also vulnerable to macro-based viruses. Use and run macros with care.

Word 2008 for Mac keeps crashing

The grammar check on larger multilingual documents seems to cause the crashes.
The fix is to disable automatic grammar check
Open Word => Preferences => Spelling and Grammar, uncheck "Check grammar as you type".

Word documents open in Terminal on my Mac

Solution: Make sure that the name of the file ends in .doc

See also


Excel is missing all the toolbars and tabs

This happens if excel is in fullscreen mode. Until you undo the fullscreen mode Excel will always start fullscreen. You undo fullscreen by clicking View => Fullscreen.

Formatting a list of ID numbers

When you enter in a number like 00324328 into Excel, Excel usually deletes the leading zeros because they're "not important". Sometimes those zeros are important - for example, on a list of Midd student/staff ID numbers. You can set Excel to include those leading zeros in specific cells with the following steps.

  1. Click and drag to select the area of cells that you want to show leading zeros.
  2. Right-click in the selected area and choose Format Cells.
  3. Under the Number tab, choose the Category Custom. (In this area, you specify the way you want Excel to show cells. By choosing "Custom", you are saying that you want to manually specify the format to be used.)
  4. In the Type: field, erase the default value "General" and enter in 00000000 (eight zeros). (This tells Excel that every number value in these cells should display with at least eight digits, leading zeros by default.)
  5. Click OK and verify that the fields formatted show any entered number shows leading zeros up to eight digits.

Disable Green Triangle

  • Problem: How do I disable the green triangle in Excel telling me there are numbers formatted as text?
  • Solution Here's how you can stop the green triangle from displaying in Excel (indicating that a number has been stored in text format):
    • From the Tools menu, select Options.
    • Click the Error Checking tab.
    • Uncheck the box beside Number stored as text.
    • Click OK.


Windows only

Embed a Flash movie in PowerPoint

It is possible to embed a flash/shockwave movie/video/animation in PowerPoint, but it will work in the Windows version of PowerPoint ONLY. See:

PowerPoint not showing pictures or videos

Symptom: You see the message "QuickTime and a <codec name> decompressor are needed to see this picture"

Solution: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/278556/en-us and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/198202/en-us

Symptom: QuickTime(TM) and a Photo - JPEG decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime(TM) and a TIFF decompressor are needed to see this picture.

Solution: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=198204

Note: It is unclear if Office 2007 resolves this problem.

Video inserted in PowerPoint not playing smoothly

There can be a number of reasons for videos in powerpoint not playing smoothly, ranging from quality of video, to computer speed, and software version. Here are steps to troubleshoot.

  • If your video is not running smoothly, try turning your hardware acceleration down. If you use Windows 2000 or XP, then Right click the Windows desktop and choose Properties > Settings > Advanced. Click on the Troubleshoot tab and move the slider towards the left.
  • If your Media file does not play or a blank box appears on the slide where you inserted the media file, rename the media file to a shorter file name so that the whole path and file name is not longer than 128 characters.
  • It is always recommended to have the latest version of DirectX and Windows Media player installed for high quality presentations.
  • More tips and suggestions can be found here.

Insert More Than One Audio File (Mac)

PowerPoint X and 2004: Insert => Sound from File. Can only do 1 sound file, but can have multiple sound files inserted as movie files (Insert => Movie from File) Have 1st sound file play automatically. PowerPoint 2008 has no limitations to the number of sound files inserted, so you don't need to insert the second sound file as movie.

Tutorial on how to adjust so the sound file plays continuously: http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/tutorials/powerpoint.htm

PowerPoint freezes when I click on a link

Powerpoint, both on a PC and on a Mac, when clicking on a link to a larger file (avi, wmv, mov, mp3, etc), seemingly freezes.

What is actually happening, is that PowerPoint is downloading parts of the file at the link and examining/testing it. While this test is happening, Powerpoint stops all other actions so you can't advance slides, etc. On a slowe(er) internet connection or when accessing a file at a slower website, this can make it seem like it's frozen. It does eventually open the linked file.

There appears to be nothing we can do to ammend this. A workaround is to save the files that you'd like to link to on the computer, and link to them from the computer.

Cannot edit PowerPoint presentation

Check to make the sure has a .ppt file extension. If the file is a .pps (Powerpoint Show), it is considered read-only by PowerPoint and you won't be able to edit it. If you simply change the extension to .ppt it becomes an editable Powerpoint file.

See also

Outlook (Windows)

Exchange Server not Found

There are times, you log onto a computer connected by a wired connection and all that, fire up outlook and after a long wait you get an error message saying that the exchange server cannot be found and it gives you the option to retry or cancel. When it is almost certain that the connection to the network if OK, computer is registered and all that, the problem might be a bad profile. I don't know why it happens, how it happens but I know one possible fix.

  • Click on Start -> settings -> control panel -> mail
  • Select profiles and remove all that are present
  • Close everything and then set up Outlook

How to Share a Distribution List with Outlook

At times you may want to take an entire distribution list and share that list with others. Outlook allows you to do this by sending the entire distribution list as an attachment. The details are described in the Share a Distribution List using Outlook article.

Recovering Deleted Appointments in a Shared Calendar in Outlook

When a user deletes mails from his/her personal mailbox or from a shared office mailbox, the mails will be stored in his/her personal "Trash" folder. The user must log into Outlook, find the mails in Trash, and drag them back into the Inbox or appropriate other folder.

More detailed steps: Recovering Deleted Items in Outlook

Outlook Running Very Slowly

Common complaints about Outlook responsiveness are:

  • It takes several seconds for a message to open.
  • It takes several seconds for a message to disappear once I click Send.

When word is selected as the default e-mail editor - replying and sending is slower. When there are addins installed for Outlook (such as Google Desktop, Plaxo, etc.) opening messages is slow.

Possible solutions:

Error when printing daily Outlook calendar

Error: the messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook Happens when printing Outlook calendar in daily format.

Solution: This is a known issue. An option called "Task Pad" is turned on by default, and if there are no tasks for that calendar, and you try to print it, it creates that error. So the solution is to just turn off the task pad option.

Follow these steps to deselect the TaskPad option when printing the Daily Style: 1. Open the shared calendar 2. On the Outlook File menu, click Print. 3. Under Print Style, click to select Daily Style and click Page Setup 4. Click TaskPad to deselect it. 5. Click OK and OK to close and print.

The sender (of from) column in outlook is missing

Re: names of senders not appearing with Outlook

The senders are usually visible in a column (or field) named "From".

Right-click on the "Subject" column in Outlook and click on "Field Chooser". This will open a new window with the title "Field Chooser". One of the items in this window should be "From" - if you can see this, click and drag the "From" field next to the "Subject" column.

If you can't see the "From" field in the Field Chooser, it could be that the "senders" column somehow got resized so it's very small. In this case you will need to carefully look at the columns in Outlook to see if one of them is very, very narrow and could be hiding the "From" field.

You can use this procedure to bring back any missing column in outlook (such as subject line, date, etc).

Error when clicking on a link in an e-mail

Problem: When you click a hyperlink in Microsoft Outlook, you may receive the following error message:
This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

(customer had Internet Explorer 7, solution for other versions of IE here:http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q310049)
Start Internet Explorer 7.
On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
Click the Advanced tab, and then click Reset.
Click the Programs tab, and then click Set programs.
Click Set Default Programs.
Click to select Microsoft Outlook, and then click Set this program as default.
Click OK, and then close the Default Programs dialog box.
In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Programs tab, and then click Make default under Default web browser.
Click OK

See also

Entourage (Mac)

Installing Entourage

Entourage comes with the Microsoft Office installation cd, which can be obtained from the Main Library Circulation Desk.

You can preconfigure some useful settings in Entourage.

For installation notes see Office 2008 Installation.

Dangerous Bug in Entourage 2004

Changing font size

When you have a message open in Entourage you can decrease the font by:

  • choosing Edit/Decrease Font Size


  • pressing Shift+CMD+Minus sign (repeat as needed)

Separate multiple addresses with a SEMICOLON not a COMMA

It looked like earlier, Banner generated messages, separated e-mail addresses using commas "," and entourage thought that "jsmith, pclab, helpdesk" was one long e-mail address, so it didn't send the message to the email addresses. We checked now, and it looks like banner generated messages separate e-mail addresses using semi-colons ";". Now Entourage correctly understands that each entry is a separate email address. It should work fine that way.

It does help to click the button titled "Check Names" -- if there is a problem this will generate a question mark, and if there is no problem, it will autocomplete all the email addresses, making sending quicker. To avoid having to click this button you can turn on Entourage => Preferences => Compose => "Automatically check names when sending messages".

In general, when entering e-mail addresses in Entourage's To, CC or BCC fields, each e-mail address needs to be on a separate line (enter one address, then click on the next line, enter the other address, click on the next line, etc...).

Entourage displays Error 4362 The action could not be completed. An unknown error (4362) occurred.

Most likely, you tried to send a message with too large an attachment. Open your Drafts folder, look for recent messages and delete them. Open the "Outbox" folder under "Folders on My Computer". Look for recent messages and delete them. If that doesn't help, see:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/332015 - information on the error

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/268322/ - how to rebuild the database (hold down the OPTION key on the keyboard, and then start Entourage - more detail in article)

http://www.entourage.mvps.org/error/number.html#error4362 - more detail including some additional steps that may be taken 

Calendar events created in Entourage appear incorrectly in Outlook or Webmail

I moved to a new computer and Entourage does not remember any recent addresses

The recent addresses in Entourage are stored only on the computer (same for Outlook). If you want to keep an address, add it to the address book by clicking the Message menu and selecting "Add to Address Book".

Groups cannot be exported from Entourage.

But there is a work around within Entourage.

The nice folks at East Carolina University have clarified this for us: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/mac/Entourage-2008-Exporting-Groups.cfm

The instructions should be interchangeable for Entourage 2004/2008 (more less)

Open Entourage 2008.

Click on the "Notes" icon. Create a new note and keep it open on your screen.

Click on the "Address Book" icon. Click on "Address Book [On My Computer]". Drag the group icon from Entourage to the body of the note. All the emails should list in the note.

At the top, delete the name of the group that appears above the email addresses.

Save the note.The name does not matter as long as you know what it is.

Go to File>Export. Select "Items to an Entourage archive" Select "All items". De-select all items except for "Notes". Save the .rge file. Again, the name does not matter.

Go to the new identity or the new computer and import the archive with the note. Open the imported note, select everything in the window and copy the addresses. Create a new group and paste the addresses into the body of the window. Save the group.

Entourage is not updating a particular folder

  • Issue: Entourage is not updating a particular folder. In Entourage the folder is missing emails or does not get new emails. In Webmail the folder updates fine. Other folders in Entourage update fine.
  • Solution: Ctrl+click on the folder that's not updating. Click "Folder Properties". Click "Empty Cache".

See also

Powered by MediaWiki