The big day has arrived. You finally received your new copy of Office for Mac 2008. If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, see Pre-order Office for Mac 2008 and Time is running out to take advantage of Microsoft deals. The Suite Deal is over now but the Technology Guarantee program goes on until March 31st, 2008.
Now, how do you install and not have any problems?
Before installing you need to make sure your OS is working correctly and that you have done some Entourage housekeeping like deleting spam and messages in your Deleted Items folder.
- Read the directions!
- Quit any applications that are running, including virus-protection applications, all Office applications, Microsoft Messenger for Mac, and Office Notifications, because they might interfere with installation. How to quit Notifications
- If you have a previous version of Office installed: Put your templates in your Microsoft User Data folder, where they won’t be touched if you use “Remove Office”, and set the Project Gallery to find them there. Otherwise, “Remove Office” will delete those files. Templates contains your Normal file. Normal file: Note: starting with Office 2004 the Normal template is moved to the MUD folder, but the Templates folder is not moved.
Tips when upgrading Entourage mail:
- Clean up your database before importing
- Export your contacts for backup
- Make a backup of your database (you can’t have too many backups)
- Empty your Deleted Mail
Start with a good base
Office uses certain system files when installing. If your base files have problems, you are going to have problems installing Office. Cache files and corrupt fonts can also cause problems. If you experience problems after installing delete your cache files. Tiger Cache Cleaner and Leopard Cache Cleaner are two recommended by many users (shareware). For help with fonts see Troubleshoot Fonts. [Added: Microsoft fonts to delete after installing Snow Leopard (includes help deleting font caches)]
Tiger Users: I suggest that you download and run the latest combo updater for your computer. Combo updaters will install on the same version as they’re applying–no need to roll back or do a clean install. To understand why running a combo updater helps see Apple Combo Updater and Entourage
Before putting the CD in to install, use the Finder’s Label feature to identify your Fonts. I like to do this when I first install the OS so I will know which fonts are installed by the system. Office 2008 uses a different method for fonts and many fonts are new versions. Office 2008 will install fonts to the /Library/Fonts/Microsoft folder. By being at the root, then all users on the machine have access to them and you don’t get Office 2008 putting multiple copies on the machine for each user.
The installer will scour /Library/Fonts/ and ~/Library/Fonts/ for fonts with the same name and move them to /Library/Disabled Fonts/ or ~/Library/Disabled Fonts/ depending on where they were found. [Added: I suggest running Font Book to check for duplicate fonts. Fonts > validate fonts]
[Added for Snow Leopard users Microsoft fonts to delete after installing Snow Leopard (includes help deleting font caches)]
If you are one of the users that will keep Office 2004 around while you are getting used to Office 2008, or will keep Office 2004 for VBA, then knowing how the installer deals with fonts will keep you from overwriting new fonts with old. Be sure you install Office 2004 first. Office 2008 will not go back retroactively and move fonts installed after it was installed. I suggest using separate Users for the different versions. Even though your preferences are separated in the ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft folder, some of the .plist files will be shared. Having separate User’s preference files will be less likely to cause problems. Using Fast User Switching makes it easy to access your older version when needed.
Just a quick word about the new fonts. I really like Consolas for plain text readability. The new fonts have also been adjusted for size so you shouldn’t see so much change when exchanging mail with PC users. Here are the default font preferences in case your old preferences override the new font preferences.
Click to view larger.
Descriptions taken from The Next Big Thing in Online Type
Office 2008 comes with an installer where you could previously choose to drag and drop or run the installer.
The installer is an Apple package installer file. A “package” is literally just a set of specially named folders and files. Nothing more.
The advantage of a package install over a stand-alone installer, like the Vise installers that Microsoft was using, is that the installs follow Apple’s guidelines and the developer can take advantage of an existing application rather than write a new one. Plus, in the corporate world, package installers can be deployed and installed much more easily.
A big bonus of the Apple package installer is that you can build a package of other packages, which is easier to update than a Vise installer package. To see this, right-click the Office Installer package and select “Show Package Contents”. Then look in /Contents/Packages. You’ll see a whole list of individual packages and each is responsible for something specific.
Thanks to Bill Smith for the info on installers.
Finally, we can install.
You can drag your CD Key into the installer window. No more boxes to fill! Please keep your CD Key in a safe place. Should you ever need to install again, you will need your CD Key. The Product ID is used only to get Microsoft support. It’s not required that you register like the Windows Office users.
You will be cautioned to remove all versions of Office for Mac on your computer. It’s not necessary to do this. Often this is a backup copy and you don’t want to remove your backup.
Select which version you want removed. “Remove Office” removes all invisible files including your CD key. Before removing your old copies be sure you have a CD key in case you ever want to install.
Office opens to the Project Gallery
My general comments on Entourage 2008
Big improvements in the database and rebuilding. HTML handeling is also greatly improved. Several newsletters that crashed or would show incorrectly in 2004 now open correctly. The new toolbar for favorites is my ‘favorite’ feature. Next would be the Customize Toolbar. Category colors are a bit different in Entourage 2008. You might need to tweek your old colors.
Check out all of the new features from the Microsoft Office Setup Assistant. You can always go back and launch it from the Office folder. It’s too easy to bypass the articles in the setup assistant when installing since you want to dive in and try out all of the new features.
If you have any problems installing, please ask on either the Entourage newsgroup (microsoft.public.mac.office.entourage) or the Office for Mac newsgroup (microsoft.public.mac.office). How to subscribe to the newsgroups. By posting on the newsgroups, other users can benefit from the answers and contribute to a solution. In addition, it will be easier for us to track the problem.
Microsoft has closed the newsgroups. You can ask on the Mactopia Product Forums.
Check the Find Solutions for Crashes, Conflicts and General Problems page for help troubleshooting and quick answers.