The Microsoft Office Profile Wizard is used to capture user settings and customizations of the Office user environment, and to migrate these settings and essential templates and support programs to other users' computers.
One of the best advantages the Profile Wizard offers is its ability to save the configuration of a user's computer and then restore that configuration at a later date — for example, when a user migrates to a new computer.
In order to use the Profile Wizard, an installation of Microsoft Office must exist on a computer. After Office is installed, the Profile Wizard can be used to capture the configuration of configurable user settings and files. With changes to the INI files used by the Profile Wizard, it is possible to instruct the wizard to capture custom files, templates, dictionaries, and other supporting files by adding them in the appropriate sections of the customized INI file you create.
Using the Office Profile Wizard to change user settings
The Office Profile Wizard is an administrative tool for capturing an Office user configuration from a user's computer to a profile settings file (OPS file ). The Profile Wizard is also the Save My Settings Wizard for end users. The Save My Settings Wizard ships with Office; the Profile Wizard ships with the Office XP Resource Kit.
The Office Profile Wizard and the Save My Settings Wizard are the exact same application but use different interfaces. Each wizard is activated by a parameter setting on the command line. By default, the Save My Settings Wizard begins whenever you start proflwiz.exe; however, you have the option of including the /u command-line option to force the use of the non-administrative user interface. You must add the /a command-line option to start the Profile Wizard with the administrative user interface.
There are three INI files available for use with the wizard. These INI files instruct the Profile Wizard to capture registry settings and files from a user's computer. Each INI file is tailored for the uses stated below and can be modified with a text editor to add or remove registry settings or files from an OPS file.
Created as a starting point for administrators. This file is only available with the Office Resource Kit. You can use this INI file as a template for creating customized INI files.
Created for users. This is only available with Office and is designed for use with the Save My Settings Wizard user interface. This INI can also be used as a template for a customized INI file. If you customize this INI file you cannot use the Save to Web feature in the Save My Settings Wizard.
Specifically used for resetting all configuration and user settings of Office to their default settings. This file is only available with the Office Resource Kit.
Resetting to defaults
The Office Profile Wizard includes an option to reset user settings to defaults. This option clears all custom user settings saved in the registry and related templates. Using the Reset to default option is critical to implementing a clean user configuration on a computer. If settings have previously been customized on a user's computer prior to applying an OPS file, those settings not customized in the OPS file are retained on the user's computer — a scenario that can lead to different configurations on user's computers because their previous settings were not cleared. Using the Reset to defaults option clears all user settings and then applies the configurations supplied in the OPS. This ensures all users will have the same configuration after the OPS file is applied.
Capturing user configuration settings
Any setting a user can configure within an application and retain from one session to the next can be saved to an OPS file by using the Profile Wizard. You can even instruct the Profile Wizard to pick up any specific files you need and include them in the OPS file by altering the INI file used by the wizard.
Before you create an OPS file, you must start each Office application and set all the custom user settings you want users to have. You can set most options by using the Options command (Tools menu). To customize toolbars and menus, use the Customize command (Tools menu). You can even distribute a customized dictionary by replacing the default dictionary or making changes to the existing dictionary.
After the Profile Wizard creates the OPS file, you can add it to a transform using the Custom Installation Wizard. You can then deploy Office XP using the transform with the embedded OPS file. This installs the default user configuration you created with the Profile Wizard to all users who install Office with that transform. If you create an OPS file for use with a transform, it is advised to use the OPW10adm.ini.
Applying user configuration settings from an OPS file
You can apply user configuration settings with the Profile Wizard using any of the following three methods.
- Run the Profile Wizard automatically at the end of the deployment process by specifying it in the Add Installations and Run Programs page of the Custom Installation Wizard.
- Embed the OPS file in a transform with the Custom Installation Wizard from the Customize Default Application Settings page.
- Manually run the Profile Wizard with the OPS file on the user's computer.
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 user settings. Or, 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 System Management Server (SMS) to force the Profile Wizard to apply the OPS file configuration changes.
Running Profile Wizard at the end of deployment
Running the Profile Wizard at the end of the deployment process occurs whether you embed the OPS file in the transform on the Customize Default Applications Settings page of the Custom Installation Wizard or if you specify the action in the Add Installations and Run Programs page of the Custom Installation Wizard. If you would rather not embed the OPS file in a transform on the Customize Default Applications Settings page, you can instruct the Custom Installation Wizard to run the Profile Wizard at the end of the deployment process by including the Profile Wizard executable plus command-line options in the Add Installations and Run Programs page. This process allows you to:
- Use the Reset to defaults option of the Profile Wizard.
- Modify an OPS file without having to change or update the transform.
- Apply the OPS file separate of the transform.
- Selectively restore settings to specific Office applications with command-line options. You can also do this through the user interface, but this method is only available when using the Profile Wizard in administrative mode.
To run the Profile Wizard at the end of the deployment process
- Copy proflwiz.exe to the administrative installation point if it is not already there.
- You can place proflwiz.exe and related executable files into the same folder as Office Setup.exe, or you can create a subfolder for them.
- Copy the OPS file you created to the administrative installation point.
- Start the Custom Installation Wizard.
- Navigate to the Add Installations and Run Programs page of the Custom Installation Wizard.
- Click Add…
- In the Target text box, enter <path>\proflwiz.exe or use the Browse… button to navigate to proflwiz.exe.
- In the Arguments text box, enter /r <path> <ops file name>.
/r instructs the Profile Wizard to Restore settings from the OPS file to the computer the Profile Wizard is running on. See the Profile Wizard command-line options topic in the Profile Wizard help for examples and definitions of all command-line options.
After Office is installed, Windows Installer starts all the applications you specify on the Add Installations and Run Programs page in the order in which you specify them.
Understanding the Reset to defaults option
Unexpected results can occur if the Reset to defaults option is not fully understood before you apply customizations in an OPS file. If the Reset to defaults check box is selected when you run the Profile Wizard to restore a user profile, all existing user configuration settings of Office XP are reset to their default states before the profile is applied. Your new settings, which are then applied, should be customized to enable Office XP to work as you intend.
Resetting all previous user settings is the default behavior of the wizard when not used in quiet mode (user interface is displayed). If you want to restore some settings in specific applications but retain others, you will need to edit the INI file used to capture the settings and clear the Reset to defaults check box in the wizard during the restore process.
Note When running the Profile Wizard in quiet mode (/q command-line option), you can turn on this Reset to defaults feature of the Profile Wizard through the use of the /d command-line option.
Customizing the Reset to defaults feature of the Profile Wizard is controlled by modifying sections in the INI files. Changes to sections in the INI file ending with text "ResetToDefaults" will affect how the Profile Wizard manages the application of an OPS file. The INI file ResetO10.ini is a good example of what files and registry settings can be changed if you plan on making changes to any ResetToDefaults sections of an INI file.
Use of the Reset to defaults option is the same as specifying the /d command-line option. When selected, the Profile Wizard uses the ResetO10.ops file to apply changes to the user's computer. To review the changes this OPS file will make to a computer, examine the ResetO10.ini file.
When the ResetO10.ops file is applied to a user's computer, the following user settings are reset to their default install state:
- The Assistant character
- Most recently used (MRU) entries on the File Menu
- Size and position of application windows
- Menu and toolbar positions or customizations
- Office XP Shortcut Bar (if installed)
- Security level of all applications
- Settings for viewing data (such as the Calendar view in Outlook)
Within each Office application is an option to Detect and Repair (Help menu). Selecting this option and then setting the Discard my customized settings and restore default settings check box to checked is the same as running the Profile Wizard with the /d command-line option or selecting the Reset to defaults check box within the Profile Wizard.
Note When you use Detect and Repair with the Discard my customized settings and restore default settings check box selected, all added installations, the Outlook profile (if supplied), and all other user customizations are reapplied when Office is reinstalled using a previously applied transform. All installations and programs added in the Add Installations and Run Programs page of the Custom Installation Wizard are reapplied also.
Using the Discard my customized settings and restore default settings check box from any Office application affects the user settings and registry settings where a transform was used to install the application. This happens because transforms store a registry setting that controls reapplication of user content in the transform in this node.
After Office is reinstalled using a transform, the configuration maintenance files (CMW files) will automatically be reapplied the next time the user starts any Office application; Office is configured to its previous configuration without any user customizations. This process is equivalent to when a new user logs on to a multiuser machine and receives all the user customizations applied from the transform, or configuration maintenance files, that the administrator has applied.
Customizing a generic profile settings file
The OPW10adm.ini is used to create a generic profile settings file (OPS file). This file contains the most likely configuration changes administrators want to capture. However, not all administrators have the same needs. It is possible to use this file as a starting point for creating a customized OPS file.
In order to capture the customized user settings for Office, you must set most of the important options by using the Options command (Tools menu) from within each Office application. To customize toolbars and menus, use the Customize command (Tools menu). You can even distribute your own customized dictionary.
When you are ready to create an OPS file, perform the following steps.
To save settings to an OPS file
- Run the Profile Wizard.
- On the Save or Restore Settings page, select Save the settings from this machine, and enter the name and path for the OPS file in the Settings File text box.
- Click Finish.
The Profile Wizard saves all the Office application settings from your computer as specified in the INI file, if you instructed the wizard to use a customized INI file on the command line, to the OPS file.
Note If you do not specify an INI file on the command line, the Profile Wizard uses the OPW10adm.ini by default if the Profile Wizard is being used in administrative mode, or the OPW10usr.ini if the Profile Wizard is being used in user mode. (If you are using the Save My Settings Wizard, see the Save My Settings Wizard online Help for more information.)
Defining environment variables for use with Windows 98
Environment variables are a feature of the operating system. Environment variables are used to set the configuration of an operating system. Environment variables can be accessed through special function calls in applications to determine what the contents of the variables are. This process is very similar to setting a string variable in a programming language and then gaining access to it from another program later on whenever it is needed. Since the operating system is always running, the environment variable is always accessible.
Unlike Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 98 does not have a USERPROFILE or USERNAME environment variable by default. You must create and define these environment variables manually so they resolve to the correct location for each user.
Note To view current environment variables on your computer, open a command prompt window and enter SET at the command line.
To create the USERPROFILE environment variable for Windows 98 clients, create a Windows NT logon script. Use the following command line in the logon script to create the USERPROFILE and USERNAME environment variables when a user logs on:
An environment variable can be created at any time by running the SET command from a command window; however, this method sets the variable only for as long as the window is active.
With Windows 98, you can create an environment variable in the autoexec.bat file, and retain the variable for as long as Windows 98 is running. If you prefer, you can perform the same step above by adding the following to all autoexec.bat files on users' computers:
Then, in the NT logon script, you can change the command lines referenced earlier to:
If user profiles are not enabled on the Windows 98 computer where the resulting OPS file is to be applied, you must also include the commands to create the Profiles folder and the USERNAME environment variable. In this case, use the following DOS commands from a batch file or manually enter them on the command line:
Windows 2000 and Windows NT store user-related profile variables in the registry. When a user logs onto the computer the operating system recalls the related user settings from the registry and updates the USERPROFILE and USERNAME environment variables accordingly.
Restricting the contents of an OPS file
You can customize the Profile Wizard to include only the registry settings and files you want to include in an OPS file. This can be helpful when you deploy Microsoft Office XP in stages with a default user profile.
For example, you can roll out Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint® with one set of customizations, then at a later date roll out Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Internet Explorer with different customizations. In this scenario, you can customize the Profile Wizard to save and distribute only the settings you need for each stage of your deployment. It is also possible to use command-line switches to restore only the settings you want for a specific application, even though an entire Office configuration is saved in the OPS file. See the Profile Wizard help for information on how to use the available command-line switches.
To customize the behavior of the Profile Wizard, you edit the OPW10adm.ini file. Open the file in Notepad or another text editor, and then add or delete references to settings you want to include or exclude. When you edit the OPW10adm.ini file, you can include or exclude specific applications, registry settings or Application Data folders, and template files.
Each section of the OPW10adm.ini or OPW10user.ini file contains comments documenting the usage and syntax for entries within that section. The default entries are designed to gather a complete set of user configuration data, including files containing user configuration settings and Windows registry values, for Office XP.
Note Some settings in a user profile are shared among applications in Office XP. When you customize the OPW10adm.ini file for a staged deployment, make sure you change only non-shared settings or be sure you have tested the shared settings to make sure they work correctly for all applications before you deploy the Office profile settings (OPS file).
The new release of the Profile Wizard includes new capabilities that allow you to avoid making customizations to an INI file. The ability to selectively capture settings for an individual application instead of all applications can be achieved through the administrative interface or from the command line. This also applies to restoring settings for a select application from an OPS file that contains settings for all of Office. See the Profile Wizard Help (administrative mode) for more information on command-line options and capturing select user settings.
Editing the OPW10usr.ini and OPW10adm.ini files
While you can edit any of the INI files used by the Profile Wizard, editing the OPW10adm.ini or OPW10usr.ini is the best place to begin. The OPW10adm.ini is tailored for administrators who want to create generic OPS files for distribution to many users. The OPW10usr.ini is better suited for capturing and restoring the customizations of a specific user more completely. You can edit either of these files to make the Profile Wizard include or exclude additional files, folders, or registry subkeys and values.
Note If an INI file is set to include a folder, that folder is created on a user's computer when the settings are restored from an OPS file whether there are any files for the folder or not.
Each INI file is divided into two pieces:
INI sections in the table below, which deals with files and folders, appear under the File/Folder Section of each INI file.
INI sections in the table below dealing with registry keys, entries, and values appear under the Registry Section of each INI file. For a full description of each INI section, including examples of syntax, see the INI file.
||All folders and subfolders for a select registry node. Files in these folders and subfolders are also included.
||Include only a specific folder.
||Include a specific file.
||Files to exclude from the user profile. Accepts wildcard characters in the file name (to exclude groups of files).
||Folder trees to delete prior to writing data from the OPS file to the user's computer. Use this section with caution.
||Files to delete prior to writing data from the OPS file to the user's computer. Each folder must be explicitly specified.
||New to Office XP, this allows you to keep specific files or groups of files normally removed during a Reset to defaults action.
||Environment variables to expand if found in a registry value with a data type of REG_EXPAND_SZ.
See the Creating a customized Generic profile settings file for important information.
||Include all Keys, subkeys, and values from the specified registry node.
||Includes only a specific key and any associated values in the key.
||New to Office XP, includes only a specific key and a specific entry value.
||Any keys or subkeys in the specific node are excluded.
||Exclude a specific key.
||Exclude a specific named value of a key.
||Registry node (and all subkeys) to delete prior to writing values from the OPS file to a user's computer.
||Specific registry entry values to delete prior to writing values from the OPS file to the user's computer.
Note When you use the Profile Wizard to restore the settings from the OPS file, and also instruct it to not use the Reset to defaults option, be aware that any customizations you have made to the sections ending with the text "…ResetToDefaults" are ignored. The instructions in the ResetToDefaults section of any INI file are always added to an OPS file when it is created, which means the instructions will take effect on the target computer, not on the computer where the configuration was obtained.