Microsoft Office

Supported Product

Microsoft's Office is a suite of applications that includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for both Windows and OS X computers.

Word is the University's supported and recommended word processing program. It can be used to create, save, retrieve, edit, and print files. Other features include style sheets, merging, tables, customizable toolbars, and glossaries.

Excel is the University's supported and recommended spreadsheet program. It can be used to enter, edit, and format data; write formulas; and print spreadsheets.

PowerPoint is the University's supported and recommended presentation graphics program. It can be used to create overheads, onscreen electronic presentations, high-quality 35 mm slides, and handouts. PowerPoint features customizable templates and the ability to share text, data, and graphics between programs.

Important note: the University also supports the Outlook email and calendaring component of Office for Windows and Macintosh and the Entourage email and calendaring component of Office for Macintosh.

Windows compatibility

Office 2010 SP1 and Office 2013 function correctly in Windows 8.

OS X compatibility

Office 2008 SP2 and Office 2011 SP2 and above function correctly in OS X Mountain Lion.

Availability

Office is commercial software that can be purchased from the Computer Connection at an educational discount.

Microsoft software is now available to University of Pennsylvania departments through the Microsoft Select Program, a volume license agreement. A detailed description of the Microsoft Program including product information and a FAQ has been prepared by the Office of Software Licensing. All purchases of Microsoft Select software are made through the Computer Connection.

Configuration

Configuration instructions are included with the software.

Keeping current

 Important note: Information Systems & Computing (ISC) strongly suggests checking daily for critical updates to Microsoft Office, in the same way that you would check for updates to Windows or OS X.

Prepare to Update

  • Log in with administrator rights. To check whether your user account has these rights, see the User Accounts control panel. Mac OS users, see "Working as an administrator" in Mac Help and see Accounts in the System section of System Preferences.
  • Before you start, close any applications (e.g. Microsoft Word) and make sure that you have backups of any critical files.

Perform the Update

Windows users:

  1. Visit http://office.microsoft.com and click Check for Updates, which can be found on the right of the page. Go to step 4 below.

 Or,

  1. Open up an Internet Explorer browser window and select Windows Update from the Tools Menu to open the windows update webpage.
  2. Once this page has been loaded select Office Family from the tabs in the top half of this page. This will take you to the Microsoft Office web pages.
  3. Select Check for Updates at the top of the page.
  4. If you do not already have ActiveX control (the Office Update Installation Engine) you should follow the instructions to install it.
  5. Once this has been installed a list of Required Updates will automatically be shown and you should Agree and Install these.
  6. Once you have installed the updates you may be asked if you wish to restart your machine. Agree to this and once it has restarted repeat this process until no more updates are found for the version of Office on your computer.

OS X users:

  1. Visit http://www.microsoft.com/mac/download/
  2. Then scroll down to the version of Office you have installed, and select the updates you want.

 Or,

  1. Launch Microsoft AutoUpdate from your Applications folder.
  2. Click the Check for Updates button.
  3. Once you have installed the updates you may be asked if you wish to restart your machine. Agree to this and once it has restarted repeat this process until no more updates are found for the version of Office on your computer.

Training

 ISC's Technology Training Services website provides details on preferred Penn pricing and scheduling for classes on this and other common desktop products.

Related resources

On June 15, 2010 Microsoft released Office 2010 for Windows, the latest version of this software suite which includes applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Office 2010 is a consolidation and refinement of the substantial revisions in Office 2007. Because of this, Information Systems & Computing (ISC) believes that upgrading from Office 2003 will entail a significant learning curve for many Office users, while upgrading from Office 2007 will be relatively trivial.

Office 2010 uses the same default file formats that Office 2007 and Office 2008 use (examples include .docx instead of .doc for Word and .xlsx instead of .xls for Excel). Users of Office 2003 for Windows can install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to read Office 2007/2008/2010 files in their default format. Users of Office 2004 for Mac OS can install the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac.

Office 2010 is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, and Windows XP Service Pack 3. Note that Office 2010 will not install or function on PCs running any non-SP3 version of Windows XP.

    Provider note: Microsoft has once again narrowed the operating system space footprint of Office with this latest version. It is unlikely that future versions of Office for Windows will run on Windows XP.

ISC supports the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook components of Office 2010 for its clients, including off-campus students.

    Provider note: Outlook 2010 functions as expected with the University's Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 servers.

Microsoft Office 2010 has somewhat greater system requirements than many previous versions of Microsoft Office. ISC suggests the following minimum system requirements:

  •     2.0 GB of RAM
  •     between 1.5 GB and 3.0 GB of free hard drive space

    Provider note: a full installation of Office Professional Plus 2010 on a fully patched Windows 7 Ultimate system took 2.6 GB.

Office 2010 is not compatible with Oracle EPM/Hyperion. Do not install Office 2010 for users of Oracle EPM/Hyperion.

Office 2010 is not fully compatible with Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.x and Adobe has no stated plans to make it compatible.

Office 2010 can be installed in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. ISC strongly suggests that the 32-bit version be installed if there is any expectation that third -party Office plug-ins will be used. This applies even if Office 2010 will be run in a 64-bit version of the Windows operating system.

ISC Technology Training Services has Office 2010 training available, including a course specifically designed to ease the substantial transition from Office 2003.

Changes

Office 2010 includes Office Web Apps, which (except for the full OneNote experience) are decontented versions of the Office desktop apps. Office Web Apps require SharePoint Foundation 2010 for institutional use or a Windows Live ID for individual use.

Office 2010 includes refinements to the Office 2007 interface. The ribbon is now more consistent across applications and also offers some degree of customization. In addition, more keyboard shortcuts have been added and the File menu has returned.

Other features new to Office 2010 are a built-in capability allowing "Save to PDF" (as opposed to the add-in in Office 2007), a background removal tool for PowerPoint graphics, improved Pivot Table tools in Excel, and message threading in Outlook.

Availability

Office 2010 Professional Academic (which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access) is available from the Computer Connection for $99 (educational pricing).

Microsoft software is available to University of Pennsylvania departments through the Microsoft Select Program, a volume license agreement. A detailed description of the Microsoft Program including product information and a FAQ has been prepared by the Office of Software Licensing. All purchases of Microsoft Select software are made through the Computer Connection.

    Provider Note: Office 2010 is available in a total of seven different versions, down from the eight versions of Office 2007.

  •         Starter: available only through OEMs and includes Word and Excel.
  •         Home and Student: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
  •         Home and Business: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook.
  •         Standard: available only through volume licensing and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Publisher.
  •         Professional: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
  •         Professional Academic: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
  •         Professional Plus: available only through volume licensing and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace, and Communicator.

    Some components of Office are less common and/or less well known than Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access. These applications are:

  •         OneNote: a little-known application designed to serve as a digital notebook. OneNote works especially well with Tablet PCs.
  •         Publisher: Microsoft's long-running basic desktop publishing package.
  •         InfoPath: an electronic forms creation tool.
  •         SharePoint Workspace: a renamed version of Groove, the work team-oriented collaboration application that was purchased by Microsoft in 2005.
  •         Communicator: an integrated communications client and works with instant messaging (IM) and Voice Over IP (VoIP) systems, though not those at the University; designed for large organizations and is only available with volume-licensed versions of Office 2010.

    Microsoft's chart of what's included in all seven Office versions is here.

Analysis

Unlike Office 2007, Office 2010 is an evolutionary revision of Microsoft's application suite, building on the significant changes in Office 2007. With its Office Web Apps, Office 2010 is also Microsoft's first attempt at competing with the web-based office suites such as Google Docs.

ISC believes that most University users who choose to upgrade to Office 2010 will be well served by either the individually purchased Professional Academic or the institutionally purchased Professional Plus versions.

--John Mulhern III, Lead for Client Technologies, ISC Technology Support Services (June 24, 2010)

On October 26, 2010 Microsoft released Office 2011 for Mac OS, the latest version of this software suite which includes applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Office 2011 is a substantial revision to Office 2008.

Office 2011 uses the same default file formats that Office 2007, Office 2008, and Office 2010 use (examples include .docx instead of .doc for Word and .xlsx instead of .xls for Excel). Users of Office 2003 for Windows can install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to read Office 2011 files in their default format. Users of Office 2004 for Mac OS can install the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac.

Office 2011 is compatible with Mac OS 10.5.8 and above. Note that Office 2011 will not install or function on PowerPC-based Macintoshes. Office 2011 also does not function with the current version of EndNote X4.

    Provider note: once again, Microsoft has narrowed the window of operating system support of Office with this latest version. Users still running Mac OS 10.4.11 must remain at either Office 2004 or Office 2008.

Information Systems & Computing (ISC) will support the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook components of Office 2011 for its clients, including off-campus students. ISC recommends that most users adopt a "wait and see" approach, continuing to use previous versions of Office until after the initial bugs in Office 2011 are identified and fixed, which often coincides with the first service release.

    Provider note: Outlook 2011 functions as expected with the University's Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 servers.

Microsoft Office 2011 has increased system requirements compared to previous versions of Microsoft Office. ISC suggests the following minimum system requirements:

  •     2.0 GB of RAM
  •     between 1.0 GB and 2.5 GB of free hard drive space

    Provider note: a full installation of Office for Mac Academic 2011 on a fully patched Mac OS 10.5.8 system took 1.7 GB.

Changes

Outlook 2011

The most significant change in Office 2011 is the transition of groupware client from Office 2008's Entourage to Outlook 2011. Outlook 2011 is a significant upgrade from even the most recent version of Entourage 2008, but it is not (nor is it intended to be) an exact copy of any version of Outlook for Windows.

Overall synchronization is faster and calendar use is more reliable and flexible, but some long-awaited features (such as server-side rules) are still not present.

Provider notes: users familiar with the Windows versions of Outlook often parse Outlook 2011 as being approximately equivalent to Outlook 2007 in functionality and general feel. An important change from Entourage is that Outlook stores each message, contact, and calendar item in an individual file. Windows-based Outlook .PST files also can be imported, but there is no export to .PST function.

A few features have not been carried over from Entourage 2008 to Outlook 2011. In particular, color quoting and indenting (dating back to Claris Emailer) are no longer available and direct syncing with iCal is no longer supported.

Other changes

An important change in Office 2011 is the Microsoft Document Connections application, which provides connectivity to both SharePoint and SkyDrive sites.

    Provider note: early testing with various SharePoint resources suggests that this application is a substantial upgrade in the Mac OS/SharePoint user experience.

Office 2011 includes notable changes to the Office 2008 interface. The ribbon interface introduced in Office 2007 and refined in Office 2010 is present, but in a Mac OS-savvy manner. The Home ribbon for Word 2011 is shown below.

Office 2011 ribbon Graphic

An important feature to some users, especially heavy users of Excel, is the return of Visual Basic for Applications, which was omitted in Office 2008.

Like Office 2010, Office 2011 includes Office Web Apps, which are decontented versions of the Office desktop apps. Office Web Apps require SharePoint Foundation 2010 for institutional use or a Windows Live ID for individual use.

Availability

Microsoft software is available to University of Pennsylvania departments through the Microsoft Select Program, a volume license agreement. A detailed description of the Microsoft Program including product information and a FAQ has been prepared by the Office of Software Licensing. All purchases of Microsoft Select software are made through the Computer Connection.

Student licensing is expected to be available later this year.

    Provider Note: Office 2011 is available in three different versions.

  •         Home and Student: includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  •         Home and Business: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  •         Academic: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Analysis

Office 2011 is an evolutionary revision of Microsoft's application suite, building on the significant changes in Office 2008. The one notable and even defining change is the transition to Outlook 2011, but there are scores of other improvements.

    Provider Note: ISC believes that heavy users of Exchange should be among the first candidates for an upgrade to Office 2011.

--John Mulhern III, Lead for Client Technologies, ISC Technology Support Services (October 26, 2010)

On January 29, 2013, Microsoft released Office 2013, the latest iteration of its Office suite of productivity applications for Windows and the successor to Office 2010. The most intriguing change is the integration of the Office 2013 desktop applications with Office 365, Microsoft's online subscription-based Office suite. There are also a number of new features and enhancements, particularly integration with Microsoft SkyDrive and the availability of Office 2013 RT. Otherwise, Office 2013 is an evolutionary upgrade that maintains the Ribbon and much of the other core functional interface elements of Office 2010 and 2007 but also significantly revamps the style of the applications to approximate that of Windows 8.

Design and features

The look and feel of Office 2013 is both familiar and different from Office 2010. The Ribbon and menus continue to exist essentially unchanged. A user new to Office 2013 but familiar with Office 2010 should be able to, for the most part, find the same functions in the same places. However, the look of the applications has changed significantly, principally in the rejection of skeuomorphic design. Nearly all design elements that mimic the physical world—shading, buttons, shadows, glows—are gone, in favor of flat, texture-less blocks of uniform color. This change approximates the appearance of Windows 8 and its "Modern" interface, though Office runs within the classic Windows desktop interface. There are other visible tweaks made to facilitate the use of Office 2013 with touchscreens, a not-surprising change given the optimization for touch in Windows 8.

Functionality remains nearly identical to Office 2010, again with small tweaks and improvements. Some examples:

  •     Initial setup has been changed to match the Office 365 subscription model: users are prompted to either log in with their account or enter a Product Key when authenticating the programs.
  •     Launch screens when starting apps have been redesigned with an emphasis on clean layout and touch friendliness.
  •     Interfaces like the Insert Chart selector have new, cleaner layouts.

One of the most significant new features is the integration of Microsoft SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage solution. With an active network connnection, users of Office 2013 can essentially use SkyDrive as any other drive, opening documents from and saving to SkyDrive directly without any upload or download process. It works well and allows access to files from anywhere, making this an important upgrade for personal users.

However, SkyDrive raises significant information security concerns for the University. Penn currently has no agreement with Microsoft regarding data stored on SkyDrive, so Penn users should not store any potentially confidential or critical information there (and probably should not use SkyDrive at this time in favor of the Penn+Box service). ISC expects the Box for Office application, which provides similar functionality, to be updated to support Office 2013 shortly.

Also notable is the availability of an RT version of Office 2013 to run on Windows RT devices, but perhaps more notable is the omission of Outlook 2013 in the RT suite. Currently, Windows RT users do not have a viable enterprise email client option available.

Compatibility and installation

Office 2013 is compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 7 SP1. Note that Office 2013 will not install or function on PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP. 

    Provider note: Microsoft has once again narrowed the operating system space footprint of Office with this latest version.

ISC supports the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook components of Office 2013 for its clients, including off-campus students.

Outlook 2013 functions as expected with the University's Exchange 2010 servers. Instructions for configuring Outlook 2013 are here. Word 2013 functions as expected with EndNote X6, but may require manual configuration.

Microsoft Office 2013 has somewhat greater system requirements than many previous versions of Microsoft Office. ISC suggests the following minimum system requirements:

  •     2.0 GB of RAM
  •     between 3.0 GB and 4.5 GB of free hard drive space

Office 2013 can be installed as either a 32-bit or a 64-bit version. ISC strongly suggests that the 32-bit version be installed if there is any expectation that any third-party Office plug-in will be used. This applies even if Office 2013 will be run in a 64-bit version of the Windows operating system.

Office 2013 is available in a total of five different versions, down from the seven versions of Office 2010. The available versions are:

  •     Home & Student: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
  •     Home & Business: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook.
  •     Standard: available only through volume licensing and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Publisher.
  •     Professional: includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
  •     Professional Plus: available only through volume licensing and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, and Lync.

Some components of Office are less common and/or less well known than Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access. These applications are:

  •     OneNote: an application designed to serve as a digital notebook.
  •     Publisher: Microsoft's long-running basic desktop publishing package.
  •     InfoPath: an electronic forms creation tool.
  •     Lync: an integrated communications client that works with instant messaging (IM) and Voice Over IP (VoIP) systems, though not those at the University; designed for large organizations and is only available with volume-licensed versions of Office 2013.

lynda.com training for Office 2013 is available to many of Penn's Schools and Centers. For more information, please see the University's lynda.com page.

Availability

Office 2013 Home & Student is available from the Computer Connection for $140.

University of Pennsylvania departments should purchase Office 2013 through the Microsoft Select Program, a volume license agreement. A detailed description of the Microsoft Program has been prepared by the Office of Software Licensing. All purchases of Microsoft Select software are made through the Computer Connection.

Microsoft has also created a subscription model based on Office 365. In this model, users pay either an annual or monthly fee for Office 365—frequency and cost vary based on desired features, constituency, and personal vs. institutional purchasing—for access to both desktop and cloud-based versions of the Office applications and larger quotas for cloud-based storage in Microsoft SkyDrive beyond the standard 7 GB quota. More information on Office 365 licensing at the University will be communicated as soon as it is available.

Analysis

Like Office 2010, Office 2013 is an evolutionary revision of Microsoft's application suite, building on the significant changes in Office 2007.

ISC currently recommends Office 2013 only for computers running Windows 8 or Windows RT. Other users should postpone upgrading until the initial bugs are worked out unless absolutely necessary. ISC also recommends that departments considering purchasing Office 2013 adopt a wait-and-see approach as to how the purchase-vs.-subscription models will play out in the University environment. This is a significant and real change that will likely affect purchasing strategies in meaningful ways over the next few years.

ISC believes that most University users who choose to upgrade to Office 2013 will be well served by either the individually purchased Professional or the institutionally purchased Professional Plus versions.

--Michael McLaughlin and John Mulhern III, ISC Technology Support Services (February 5, 2013)

Office 365 is a subscription-based service that delivers the latest iterations of the Microsoft Office suite to authorized subscribers.

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Date Posted: March 19, 2013 Tags: Provider Resource, Supported Product, Microsoft Office

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