Changing User Settings After Installation

Once Microsoft Office XP is installed on a user's computer, the Custom Installation Wizard cannot be used to install new applications, features, user settings, or to make any changes to the installation. Furthermore, when an installation based upon a specific MSI file is complete, the Custom Installation Wizard cannot be used to make further customizations to that installation. You can still use the Custom Installation Wizard with other packages (MSI files) that support customization for other applications, providing the applications have not been installed on a users' computer.

If you want to change an existing installation, use the Custom Maintenance Wizard, the Office Profile Wizard, and system policies.

The Custom Maintenance Wizard is designed to change the feature settings you implemented with the Custom Installation Wizard, and install applications or features you left out of the initial deployment of Office.

The Office Profile Wizard can help you capture and distribute new application and feature settings in an Office profile settings file (OPS file), but the wizard cannot be used to install applications or features. If you apply an OPS file that includes registry settings or files that cannot be used by the Office applications and features installed on a user's computer, those registry settings or files are installed but ignored by Office.

The System Policy Editor and Group Policy snap-in for Windows 2000 allow you to use ADM templates provided with the Office Resource Kit to enforce system policies globally for users of Office on a network. By using system policies an administrator can quickly enforce a user configuration on users' computers when users, groups, or computers log on to the network.

Using the Custom Maintenance Wizard to change user settings

The Custom Maintenance Wizard allows administrators to configure and distribute applications, features, and settings to a user's computer. With the Custom Maintenance Wizard, you can:

  • Change the installation state of applications and features associated with the installed edition of Office on the user's computer.
  • Change security settings of applications.
  • Change Microsoft Outlook profile settings.
  • Specify various Office user settings (for example settings under Tools | Options).
  • Add or remove registry settings.
  • Add or remove files.
  • Change the list of additional servers where additional administrative installation points exist.
  • Change the organization name displayed in the splash screen or the Help About dialog

These advantages make using the Custom Maintenance Wizard preferable to using the Profile Wizard in most cases. You will need to copy the Custom Maintenance Wizard (maintwiz.exe) to the administrative installation point. Instructions for performing this task are included in the Help file.

Unlike the Custom Installation Wizard, which uses a transform to convey customizations through Setup.exe, the Custom Maintenance Wizard is run from, and applies a configuration maintenance file (CMW file) to, users' computers.

New to the Custom Maintenance Wizard is the ability to customize individual user's settings in Office. Administrators can create a configuration maintenance file (CMW file) using the Change Office User Settings page of the Custom Maintenance Wizard to change user settings associated with menu options and user interface settings — once the sole domain of the Profile Wizard. If you want to add or remove other files or registry settings, you will need to specify them in the Add/Remove Files to the Installation page or the Add Registry Entries page of the Custom Maintenance Wizard. An important feature of the Change Office User Settings page is the ability to change user settings stored in binary blobs in the registry. Previous to this release of the Office Resource Kit, it was hard to administer user settings individually. The Custom Maintenance Wizard now makes this possible.

Another advantage to using the Change Office User Settings page of the wizard is the ability to configure specific settings without having to install and configure Office on a test machine (as the Office Profile Wizard requires).

Applying a profile settings file after installing Office

The Office Profile Wizard can be used to apply settings captured in an OPS file after Office has been installed.

 Note    After Office is installed, do not create a new transform with a new profile settings file to apply to an existing installation of Office. Transforms are used in initial deployment only.

You copy the OPS file to the user's computer and allow the user to run proflwiz.exe in Save My Settings mode to apply the new settings. Or, you run the Profile Wizard from a batch file or shortcut that points to an OPS file on the administrative installation point or server share to which all users have access. You can even use Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) to force the Profile Wizard to apply the OPS file configuration changes.

Using the System Policy Editor to change user settings

Several user settings can be enforced by using the System Policy Editor. To review the possible settings, start the System Policy Editor and load the related Office application ADM templates. After the templates are loaded, create a new policy file. When the policy file is created, you can select either the Default Computer or Default User policy profiles to configure various policy settings. For example, select the Default User policy profile and look for Microsoft Word 2002. Examine the Tools | Options branch of the tree. There you'll find the policy branch General. Within the General policy branch, you will find Recently used file list. Here you can change the number of files presented in the File menu option drop down. You can change the policy to display a maximum of nine recently used files.

See also

For more information about applying user settings after an installation of Office, see Using the Office Profile Wizard.

For further examples of the contents of the ADM policy templates, see Office System Policies.

For more information about setting system policies, see How to Set System Policies.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003