Deploying the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack

Posted by mkeadle

Having problems with users creating documents with their shiny new Vista + Office 2007 home computer, only to bring their documents to work and not be able to open them in Office 2003? We are. Each of our staff, faculty, and 200+ lab computers have Office 2003 installed and we’re not really ready to roll out Office 2007 for several reasons. The fitting option for the moment seems to be the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for 2007.

Go there and suck it down and you end up with a single file called FileFormatConverters.exe. It’s a piece of cake to install on a single machine, and you could always /q it for a quit install, but it doesn’t play well with Active Directory outside of ZAPs, and those are an extreme last resort in my book. What you may not realise is that there’s an .msi deployable application inside that .exe you downloaded.

Pick a machine to install on (physical, VM, who cares…) and double-click. Accept the license agreement, wait for it to extract, and then click OK when it states it’s finished. Now open Explorer and travel over to C:\Program Files\MSECache\O2007Cnv\1033. And what do you know, there’s O12Conv.msi and all it’s friends. Copy that whole directory somewhere central and create a GPO to deploy like usual.

Now it’s not perfect. The pack only has translators for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, but that should solve 99% of the problems. And it doesn’t load all of the new 2007 formatting. But those are issues you can happily blame on things-not-your-fault.

18 Responses to “Deploying the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack”

  1. slim says:

    Great tip – thanks for sharing…

  2. Victor says:

    Brilliant, I was looking for the location of the MSI file everywhere. I dont understand why Microsoft dont just provide it on their website.

    Cheers.

  3. Nate says:

    Very useful. Not sure why it doesn’t just come in the WSUS like the rest of the office updates… go figure.

    Drinks on me.

  4. Kelvin says:

    Thanks for this – very useful! As Victor said, no idea why Microsoft don’t supply the MSI on their website.

  5. Jeff says:

    Great job! Thanks for finding this.

  6. Peter says:

    Hey,

    You also can run the .exe file with the parameter /extract.
    then you’ll be prompted for the folder where you want to copy the files (msi) to.

    regards,

    Peter

  7. chris runoff says:

    Thanks for the tip, testing it out now.

  8. [...] mkeadle.org ยป Deploying the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack [...]

  9. geek says:

    thanks been looking for this. dunno why MS didn’t make an MSI to start with

  10. yassus says:

    any ideas how to change the directory the compatibility pack installs to?

  11. Felix says:

    Great information, but I came a cross a problem. I copied all files within the directory and pasted into the Server. I created a gpo to deploy, but it didn’t work for me. When a user with office 2003 tried to pen a file created from office 2007 it would prompt for a user to download the file from Microsoft website again. Here’s how I’ve done it with gpo: Both User Configuration and Computer Configuration -> Software Installation – > New Packages from \\server\office\O12conv.msi assigned and OK. The user restart a couple time even with a command gpupdate /force, but I got no luck. What have I’ve done wrong? How come mine isn’t working and according to what have read on the net seems like what I’ve done is correct, but mine wasn’t working. Can someone give me further information. I’ve been trying for weeks now. thanks

  12. Raymond says:

    Did you open Active Directory Sites and Services and force site replication of your server through out the forest. Your gpupdate /force would not have anything to force if it hit a server that did not have the replicated GPO settings.

  13. Azhibberd says:

    Thanks for that as wondering where to find the msi :)

  14. opm says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for this, however when i install it via gpo i did it in the computer section and not for the user, now every time a user runs excel it displays the message “installing Microsoft excel feature” this takes about 2-mins to install then it loads into excel. Can this be fixed / have i done something wrong / or is the just the way it is.

    any feedback would be appreciated

  15. [...] 24, 2009 in Uncategorized There are many posts that cover this, including this one and this which go into detail with specific settings. After extracting out the msi file from [...]

  16. Luke Brown says:

    Thanks for the tip… great help!

  17. Mince says:

    This is why MS do publish a MSI, why duplicate when they have already supplied it

    FileFormatConverters.exe /extract:c:\OCP2007

    Knowledge best kept with them that can use it LOL

  18. Daniel says:

    Great tip, thanks!!

Leave a Reply