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Various group policy issues with Office 2013

    Question

  • Anyone know how to do the following using the RTM Office 2013 ADMX?

    - set the default Office theme to dark gray;

    - suppress the "Default File Types" dialogue box that comes up on first run.  I've set all the options to suppress first run messages, and also I've set the default file types for the applications.  The effect is that the box still appears, but when you choose a file type the application saves as the file type I've forced, so this makes the box pointless and confusing for users (I assume this box appears for some legal reason);

    - force off the "Allow the Research task pane to check for and install new services" option under Options->Trust Center->Privacy Options

    All of these are pretty important settings that need a GPO, imo.  Maybe I just haven't found them but if they don't exist then the ADMX needs to be amended.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 6:50 PM

Answers

  • These are the instructions on how to use it: http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/2013/09/27/setting-the-office-theme-using-group-policy.aspx
    Friday, November 01, 2013 5:46 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Tracking the registry keys changes by using following Process Monitor tool might be helpful to the question 1 and 3.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645

    To question 2, when you see the "Default File Types" dialogue box? Can you show some more details?

    Best regards,


    Rex Zhang
    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, December 06, 2012 9:22 AM
    Moderator
  • Yes I'm sure I can do it using some sort of registry GPO but is there no way of doing it in the actual Office 2013 ADMX?  That seems silly.  Forcing the theme is about as basic as it gets.

    This is the dialogue box.  I assume it is a legal thing to stop Microsoft from getting sued by the EU for monopolizing file types.  I can't seem to suppress it.  If I force for example the Office Open XML formats using a GPO, the box still appears and the user can still choose "OpenDocument formats" but when they re-open the application, the default "save as" is the Office Open XML format, so it just causes confusion.

    Thursday, December 06, 2012 5:41 PM
  • Which language of Office 2013 are you installing?

    Where are you installing it from and is it MSI or Click-to-Run version?

    Doak[MSFT]

    Friday, December 07, 2012 2:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Currently we don't have GPO settings for the 3 features you have listed. I am looking into getting the ADMX files updated to include these settings.

    The Office Theme gets set in the following key:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common]

    DWORD=UI Theme

    0=White

    1=Light Gray

    2=Dark Gray

    The Research task pane feature gets set in the following:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Research\Options

    DWORD=DiscoveryNeedOptIn

    0=Checked

    1=Unchecked

    The EN version of Office 2013 does not have the Default File Types dialog so I need to know what language you are running.

    Doak[MSFT]

    Friday, December 07, 2012 2:56 PM
    Moderator
  • The Default File Types dialog can be suppressed by using the OCT. When you open up the OCT you will see a dialog like below.

    You can then deploy the custom .msp package. If you don't have access to the VL bits of Office 2013 which have the OCT tool built in then you will have to use a GPO.

    You can also use a GPOs to make the changes to each app (Word, Excel and PPT) from the path below.

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Word 2013 > Word Options > Save > Default file format

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Excel  2013 > Excel Options > Save > Default file format

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft PowerPoint  2013> PowerPoint Options > Save > Default file format

    Doak[MSFT]


    Friday, December 07, 2012 9:49 PM
    Moderator
  • Well I don't have a VL version yet, I've only got the version I can download from Technet, which appears to be the retail version so no OCT.  US English but the location settings are various places, UK, Canada.
    Monday, December 10, 2012 1:25 AM
  • Well it definitely is English.  Location settings are GB.
    Monday, December 10, 2012 1:26 AM
  • But that's my problem, I've done that and it didn't work.  The save as format is forced but the dialogue box still appears.  So if the user chooses OpenDocument format they get that setting until the application is reopened and then it goes to Open XML.  Which is just a recipe for mass confusion.
    Monday, December 10, 2012 1:30 AM
  • So your OS is EN but the location is set to UK?

    Doak[MSFT]

    Monday, December 10, 2012 1:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes.
    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 6:30 PM
  • You can use the command below to add the key to suppress the Default File Types dialog. The problem with rolling this out to other users is the SID will be different on each box so you would need to script it to read the HKEY_USERS\<users_SID> key before creating the key.

    reg add HKEY_USERS\<user_SID>\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\General /v ShownFileFmtPrompt /t REG_DWORD /d 1

    Doak[MSFT]

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 3:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Currently we don't have GPO settings for the 3 features you have listed. I am looking into getting the ADMX files updated to include these settings.

    The Office Theme gets set in the following key:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common]

    DWORD=UI Theme

    0=White

    1=Light Gray

    2=Dark Gray

    The Research task pane feature gets set in the following:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Research\Options

    DWORD=DiscoveryNeedOptIn

    0=Checked

    1=Unchecked

    The EN version of Office 2013 does not have the Default File Types dialog so I need to know what language you are running.

    Doak[MSFT]

    The theme GPO setting does not stick.  I can verify that the registry change is made by the GPO for the theme, however when the user launches Outlook 2013 the registry setting reverts to what they had originally specified.

    Thoughts?


    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 6:20 PM
  • The UI Themes are a roaming setting so setting this key manually does not stick. We are currently looking into a workaround for the setting.

    Doak[MSFT]

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 6:47 PM
    Moderator
  • How did you do it, using a GPO preference?  I can get it to work by scripting the change to the reg entry but that is a bit of a crap way of doing it.  I wouldn't want to roll it out to administrative staff set up like that.  Really the ADMX is incomplete.  This needs to be straightforward.
    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 7:29 PM
  • You can get the UI Theme to work scripting the change or the Default File Types issue?

    Doak[MSFT]

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 2:57 PM
    Moderator
  • For UI Themes.  I haven't attempted the default file types one, tbh I'm not sure of the best way of extracting the SID and inserting it into a script to do it.  Even if I did it I'd never get regular desktop support staff to wrap their heads around it.  Scripting registry inserts is always dicey because it assumes the user has permission to change the registry, or you have to do it so the registry insert happens with administrative permissions, or I have to sign it, etc.  Too much hassle for what should be a simple GPO.

    Think I'm going to create my own ADMX and do it that way.

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 5:50 PM
  • For UI Themes.  I haven't attempted the default file types one, tbh I'm not sure of the best way of extracting the SID and inserting it into a script to do it.  Even if I did it I'd never get regular desktop support staff to wrap their heads around it.  Scripting registry inserts is always dicey because it assumes the user has permission to change the registry, or you have to do it so the registry insert happens with administrative permissions, or I have to sign it, etc.  Too much hassle for what should be a simple GPO.

    Think I'm going to create my own ADMX and do it that way.

    If you do, please share!  :-)
    Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:07 PM
  • Can you post the text of the script you used for the UI Themes?

    Doak[MSFT]

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:27 PM
    Moderator
  • Nothing special, just a reg file which adds that key you posted.
    Friday, December 14, 2012 4:09 PM
  • I've discovered (as you said) that it doesn't stick.  I got my themes mixed up when I was testing it with the script, the setting changes but the theme doesn't and then it reverts back.  I wrote an ADMX and why I thought that would help I'm not sure now but no it doesn't work that way either.  On a positive note I'm much better at writing ADMX templates now.

    So yes if you have some clever workaround that would be nice because I am out of ideas at this point.  And absolutely no-one I've shown Office 2013 to so far likes the white colour scheme... and this roaming setting problem, I can see that creating other problems too for other registry settings, what are the implications of it?  I mean if I can't change a registry setting using any common admin technique what is the plan?

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 9:14 PM
  • There is a way to set it but its not ideal. I am currently working with our product group to see about getting a GPO created for this. Below are the steps to make the setting.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common is only used at boot time. After successful launch we rely on the roaming service to return the right setting value. So what you really want to do is to modify roaming service’s cache in the registry like so:

    Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities select the user whose setting you want to update, remove the LastWrite key (to force a sync on next launch), then under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\USERID\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} create a PendingChanges key. Create a Binary Value named Data and the value data info will depend on what theme you want.

    White= 0000 00 00 00 00
    Light gray= 0000 01 00 00 00
    Dark gray= 0000 02 00 00 00

    Doak[MSFT]

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:00 PM
    Moderator
  • "not ideal" - bit of an understatement.  That's useful information but it doesn't help me much from a practical standpoint.
    Sunday, December 23, 2012 10:33 PM
  • Any more progress on this (changing the colour to dark gray)? I would like to implement a solution for the new 2013 school year?

    Thanks!

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:44 AM
  • Any workarounds yet?

    Looking for solutions on both UI Themes and Default File Types dialogue Pop Up though already configured (various location settings)

    Br, Marie

    Wednesday, February 06, 2013 1:02 PM
  • I'm finding other problems - how do you force the command bar or shortcut bar at the bottom of the screen to compact view using a GPO, everyone seems to prefer this so far?

    Also, everyone wants the e-mail button on the toolbar above the ribbon in Word and Excel - is there a way of forcing that on?

    Thursday, February 07, 2013 12:53 AM
  • Updated: 02/13/13 - Fixed
    This is how I am currently able to automate this change.

    We use a deployment solution called Altiris, but I think you cold find ways to do this through MDT, System Center and several other imaging methods.

    1. Create OfficeTheme.bat

    *****OfficeTheme.bat***** (Note: Added Schema Version Line in this file)

    SET USERID=%USERNAME%@USERDNSDOMAIN%_AD
    reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming /v SchemaVersion /t REG_DWORD /d 00000009 /f
    reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\%USERID%\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges /v Data /t REG_BINARY /d 02000000 /f
    reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\%USERID%\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} /v Placeholder /t REG_DWORD /d 00000000 /f

    *****OfficeTheme.bat*****

    NOTE: The keypart is getting the correct name for the UserID String.  In our case, a domain user whoudl show up as username@domain.com_AD I would suggest checking with your setup to see if this is the same.


    1. Copy UserProfile.reg and OfficeTheme.bat to local computer in C:\Windows\Source\Scripts

    *****UserProfile.Reg*****

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_USERS\DU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]
    "OfficeTheme"="C:\\Windows\\Source\\Scripts\\OfficeTheme.bat"

    *****UserProfile.Reg*****


    2. Run the following batch commands to import UserProfile.Reg into Default User NTUser.Dat hive

    *****Batch Command to import UserProfile.Reg*****

    REM Change Default User Profile
    start /wait REG LOAD HKU\DU c:\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT
    start /wait REG IMPORT C:\Windows\Source\Scripts\UserProfile.reg
    start /wait REG UNLOAD HKU\DU

    *****Batch Command to import UserProfile.Reg*****


    3. When a user logs on the OfficeTheme.bat file runs adding the registry lines as noted above by Doak.  I think the lastWrite entry wasn't there since this is a new user.

    4. Launch Office and have the dark theme in this case, change the REG_BINARY file to 01000000 for Light Grey



    • Edited by epsjharr Thursday, February 14, 2013 2:34 AM Modified OfficeTheme.bat
    Friday, February 08, 2013 6:43 PM
  • VBScript Version

    *****UserProfile.Reg*****

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_USERS\DU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]
    "OfficeTheme"="wscript C:\\Windows\\Source\\Scripts\\OfficeTheme.vbs"

    *****UserProfile.Reg*****




    *****OfficeTheme.vbs*****

    const HKEY_CURRENT_USER =  &H80000001
    Set objNet = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
    Set sysInfo = CreateObject("ADSystemInfo")

    strComputer = "."
    strUser = objNet.UserName
    strDomain = sysInfo.DomainDNSName
    StrIdent = strUser & "@" & strDomain & "_AD"

    Set oReg=GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")

    strKeyPath1 = "Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming"
    strKeyPath2 = strKeyPath1 & "\Identities\" & StrIdent & "\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}"
    strKeyPath3 = strKeyPath2 & "\PendingChanges"

    strValueName1 = "SchemaVersion"
    strValueName2 = "Placeholder"
    strValueName3 = "Data"

    strValue1 = "00000009"
    strValue2 = "00000000"
    strValue3 = Array(2,0,0,0)

    oReg.CreateKey HKEY_CURRENT_USER, strKeyPath3

    oReg.SetDwordValue HKEY_CURRENT_USER,strKeyPath1,strValueName1,strValue1
    oReg.SetDwordValue HKEY_CURRENT_USER,strKeyPath2,strValueName2,strValue2
    oReg.SetBinaryValue HKEY_CURRENT_USER,strKeyPath3,strValueName3,strValue3

    *****OfficeTheme.vbs*****


    • Edited by epsjharr Thursday, February 14, 2013 2:44 AM Added to Code
    Thursday, February 14, 2013 2:35 AM
  • We need a GPO for this, excellent scripting but really that's OTT for something that should be simple.
    Wednesday, March 20, 2013 6:30 PM
  • Got another one - how do I remove permission for creation of IMAP4 and POP3 mail accounts?  There's an option under Exchange to prevent addition of more Exchange accounts but I need to stop people from adding in their private POP3 stuff.  Under the IMAP option there is nothing helpful.
    Friday, March 22, 2013 4:38 PM
  • Cybershooters, did you find an answer anywhere else? Or any other solution for the theme other than scripting?
    Tuesday, May 28, 2013 5:41 AM
  • I have managed to do this with a GPO, by using GPP (Group Policy Preferences).

    Under User Configuration\Preferences\Registry, create a new Registry Item:

    Action:           Replace

    Hive:             HKEY_CURRENT_USER

    Key Path:      Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\%LogonUser%@<contoso.local>_AD\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges

    (Note that you can get these special GPP variables by pressing F3 while typing in this field. Also, replace <contoso.local> with your own domain)

    Value name:  Data

    Value Type:    REG_BINARY

    Value Data:   02000000

    (Note that you have to ommit the first 4 zero's that would normally appear in the registry editor)

    Works for me anyway!

    Vincent


    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 8:07 AM
  • Hi,

    afraid that didn't work for me. I went to my local machine and the Data value was already set to 02000000 and the theme was white.

    I changed the theme to light gray and then to white and none of these changes that particular value in the registry.

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:45 PM
  • You are definitely onto something, it works for me on a user which has been fiddling with this setting in the Office GUI already. But the thing is, on a brand new installation the Identities sub-key/folder doesn't exist, so in other words, this wont work unless the end user already made changes to the setting.

    I tried changing the GPP setting to Create but it wont create the entire key/folder structure and no option in GPP to create the key/folders.

    So thats no good for me cause I need this on all new installs as the default option on first launch.

    A simply .reg file with %logonuser% doesn't work either, it just creates the key/folder exactly like that as expected.

    I haven't tried OCT registry settings, but fairly sure it wont work either?

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 11:50 PM
  • I think Group Policy Preferences may work, but there is a key that needs to be created and 3 values.  The scripts that I listed above were used a 175 laptop deployment without an issue so I know that the settings work just matter of other options for setting them if the scripting is too much.

    For Dark Gray

    Create this key all the way down: (Note username@domain_AD part)

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\user@contoso.com_AD\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges

    Create the 3 values below at the specified locations

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming"
    strValueName1 = "SchemaVersion"
    strValue1 = "00000009"

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\user@contoso.com_AD\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}
    strValueName2 = "Placeholder"
    strValue2 = "00000000"

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Roaming\Identities\user@contoso.com_AD\Settings\1170\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}\PendingChanges
    strValueName3 = "Data"
    strValue3 = Array(2,0,0,0)

    Thursday, May 30, 2013 1:21 AM
  • epsjharr: I'm finding that GPP doesnt create the keys, its only able to change them if they already exist. It will create the actual reg values, but if the "keys"/folders dont exist already, it wont create those.

    I did try your VBS script manually on a PC and it works great, but my users are not administrators on their PCs and if I deploy a VBS script via SCCM, it runs under different credentials, either System or as a manually specified user account, which means your script runs on those credentials of course and not the users.

    Friday, May 31, 2013 12:19 AM
  • Argh, I was testing with an account that was in the wrong OU. The GPP solution works perfectly.
    Friday, May 31, 2013 12:51 AM
  • Feel like I am spamming this topic...

    The GPP does create the key perfectly fine even if it doesnt exist...problem is, Outlook deletes it on first launch on a new installationb so it reverts back to White, close outlook, gpupdate /force and its fine...but I really dont want my end users to ever even see the white theme.

    Friday, May 31, 2013 5:30 AM
  • Cybershooters, did you find an answer anywhere else? Or any other solution for the theme other than scripting?

    Nope.  All I can say is SP1 better be a humdinger.  I can't believe all the problems I'm encountering with Office 2013, do a search on all the threads I've commented on.

    Obvious GPO options missing (such as setting the theme);

    IMAP4 doesn't work properly (and this was spotted in the preview);

    Pivot charts are gone from Access 2013 (but not from the help);

    Having to put [ into fields in the OCT in order to deploy shortcuts...

    Every day I have a mailbox full of: "WTF?"

    It's just a badly designed piece of software and you can easily see it, for example the dark gray theme doesn't go with other parts of the colour scheme, references in help to things that don't exist (which implies they were removed at the last minute because they couldn't be bothered).

    Friday, May 31, 2013 6:16 PM
  • Really?!

    I've just stumbled across the theme setting with the thought "ah great, this makes it a lot easier to read/make sense of, I'll enforce it via GPO on everyone's".

    Not only can I not do that but you're saying I can't even set a reg key via GPP or scripting?

    This is poor. I'm trying really hard to like Win8.1 and Office 2013 but you're not making it easy. I'm a fan of Microsoft's efforts generally but what are you doing? You bring an entirely new look and feel to Office and don't think that it might be something that users might be keen to control, to ease the migration onto your new product? Poor. It's not that I dislike the new look particularly but anything that makes it easy for my users to get their heads around it is always welcome in my eyes. I was really impressed by the doc/docx control in the 2007 ADMX's, I know the theme is a minor thing but when it looks so different it's something that can really improve the experience of users migrating across to 2013.

    Anyway, it seems all options have been tried so I don't have much to offer, so all I have left is: please try and get this into a GPO!


    Monday, September 23, 2013 1:22 PM
  • Is there Group Policy Preferences for 2013?
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:26 AM
  • It's been released a fix that resolves the problem http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2727096

    greetings

    Nino


    ...esistono i motori di ricerca, facci un salto e troverai molte delle risposte che ti darò io.


    • Edited by NinoRCTN Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:33 AM Add link
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:40 AM
  • These are the instructions on how to use it: http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/2013/09/27/setting-the-office-theme-using-group-policy.aspx
    Friday, November 01, 2013 5:46 PM
  • I had already given the answer on 10/15/2013...

    ...esistono i motori di ricerca, facci un salto e troverai molte delle risposte che ti darò io.

    Friday, November 01, 2013 6:48 PM