What to look for in the Microsoft Office 2010 Customization Tool?
If you have used a previous version of Microsoft Office suite (prior to Microsoft Office 2010), you would have used the Custom Installation Wizard to help you configure the settings of the suite as per your preference. However, Microsoft has let go of this utility in the latest version of the suite and has given users a free utility to use – the Office Customization Tool (OCT). Yes, this is the wonder tool that you can use to set up the suite on your OS. Â OCT is only available with the products available under the Volume Licensing versions of Windows Installer-based Office 2010; this includes Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus and Microsoft Office Standard 2010.
Let us see how the Microsoft Office 2010 Customization Tool works:
To make the OCT tool work, you will have to set up a network installation point for Microsoft Office. To do that, create a source folder and copy and paste here the Microsoft Office folder and files. Henceforth, you can run the set up file of the OCT and let the on screen prompts guide you to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete, it is ready to work. It is significant to mention here that the OCT delegates the work into four channels that it divides as categories – Set Up, Features, Additional Content, and Outlook.
In the Set Up category, you can specify the destination folder and brand the set up with the name of your organization to display in the ‘About’ box and on banner pages. If you have a previous version of Microsoft Office suite installed on your PC, you can remove it now. Furthermore, if you want to add any other apps to your Microsoft Office 2010 set up, you can do it now. Other tasks you can finalize here (at the Set Up stage) include modifying set up properties, setting the security levels for macros, templates, and other Microsoft add-ins, and most importantly licensing.
Under the Features category, you can modify the user settings and even select the particular features that you would like to install for the different applications.
Additional Content lets you add or remove particular files as well as registry from the Microsoft Office 2010 installation and configure the shortcuts and the locations that they will be placed in.
And finally the Outlook category wherein you get to customize your Microsoft Outlook profile to suit your requirements. You may opt to use the existing profile, add new ones, specify accounts (groups) to use when you do a Send/Receive, and export existing settings to the new profile.
Once you have customized the settings, you can save them in a MSP file to be used later (before deploying the suite) when you may require altering the settings. Also, this file can be helpful at times when you may want to create another Microsoft Office 2010 installation, and the file could help you to exchange the customized settings between the two.
The best feature about the Microsoft Office 2010 Customization Tool is that once the MSP file is created and tested, you can save it in the Update folder and continue to deploy the suite on your PC. If at all there are any patches or modifications to be reflected on the installation, you will not have to intervene, the Microsoft Office set up will itself apply them on its own…
Since OCT is the only recommended tool for most customizations, it is a handy feature that lets you customize the biggest as well as the smallest Microsoft Office 2010 features as per your choice.