Tag Archives: office

Office 2008 update includes Entourage EWS

Not that the release notes have any mention of it, but the Microsoft Office 2008 12.2.5 update will also install the latest Entourage EWS 13.0.5 if you had it on your hard disk already (else you get vanilla Entourage updated). You only need to install the stand-alone update if this is the first time you are installing the Exchange Web Services version of Entourage.

Microsoft’s Mac installers are good, but unnecessarily complicated. And the design of the Mactopia website drives me up the wall – tiny little scrolling <div> blocks and javascript hyperlinks makes it difficult to read the information and difficult to link straight to an update.

Setting Mac Office 2008 default save formats

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac uses the new Office Open XML formats by default which is a pain in an office where many staff will be using previous versions for some time.

You can easily change the default save format within the preferences for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but the simplest thing when deploying Office 2008 to a whole bunch of machines is to set the default format once and have every user pick up that setting.

Fortunately Microsoft Office 2008 uses the system defaults database and even honours preferences from the Library domain.

Here’s the preference files in /Library/Preferences for Excel, PowerPoint and Word:

computer:~ david$ ls -al /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.*
-rw-r--r--  1 root    admin  256 29 Jan 14:21 com.microsoft.Excel.plist
-rw-r--r--  1 root    admin  301 29 Jan 14:21 com.microsoft.Powerpoint.plist
-rw-r--r--  1 root    admin  257 29 Jan 14:14 com.microsoft.Word.plist

Contents of the Excel plist to save in Excel 97-2004 Workbook (.xls) format by default:

computer:~ david$ cat /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Excel.plist 
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>2008\Default Save\Default Format</key>
    <integer>57</integer>
</dict>
</plist>

I wonder what the significance of 57 is… Probably meaningful in hex or something.

PowerPoint plist to save as PowerPoint 97-2004 Presentation (.ppt) by default:

computer:~ david$ cat /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Powerpoint.plist 
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>2008\Default Save\Default Save\Default Format</key>
    <string>Microsoft PowerPoint 98 Presentation</string>
</dict>
</plist>

Word plist to save as Word 97-2004 Document (.doc) by default:

tfg02215-2:Preferences dbuxton$ cat /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word.plist 
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>2008\Default Save\Default Format</key>
    <string>Doc97</string>
</dict>
</plist>

Let’s create these all using the defaults command in one go:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Excel "2008\Default Save\Default Format" -int 57
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Powerpoint "2008\Default Save\Default Save\Default Format" "Microsoft PowerPoint 98 Presentation"
defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word "2008\Default Save\Default Format" "Doc97"

Sweet.

Now any new user on that machine will pick up these preferences and will use the old formats by default (but can choose to use the new formats by changing preferences if necessary).