Blog: Office 2010

We began receiving warnings 180 days after installation of Office 2010 that the software was not activated and would stop working in less than 30 days.  A volume license download from Microsoft licensing portal had been installed on about a dozen PCs, but I guess it had not asked for a CD key during the installation.  Queries using slmgr.vbs commands indicated that Office was using the default keys assigned at installation.

This customer had KMS license keys for Office 2010, so we needed to install the Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host on one of our servers.  First of all, be aware that Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host cannot be installed on a Windows 2008 server.  It can only be installed on Windows 7, Server 2003, or Server 2008 R2.  When you install the Office KMS host on Windows 2003, you’ll need to have KMS server software patched to 1.1 and then to 1.2 also in order for it to work with Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host (see this article for details

During the installation of the Office KMS host, it asks for the KMS key to use and then activates it over the Internet.  The KMS key that I pulled from the licensing portal for the customer said that it successfully activated, so my KMS host was ready to begin processing client requests.

I tried first to go through the help menu of Microsoft Word and change the CD key, but when I entered the KMS key, it kept telling me that the CD key was not valid.  I knew that it was valid because the KMS host activated.  I then tried to use slmgr.vbs commands to change the keys that way, but it also told me that the key was invalid.  At this point, I was stumped until I ran across Microsoft’s Volume Management Activation Tool (VAMT) 2.0 (you can get it from [more]

After installing VAMT 2.0, I started poking around and saw that you could type in a manual KMS license key to use, assign the key to clients remotely, and request that the key activates with the KMS server.  I connected to all the PCs using VAMT 2.0 and then assigned the KMS key successfully to all the clients (no invalid key message).  After that, I told them to activate with the KMS server.  Now, when I queried the KMS server with slmgr.vbs commands, I was able to see that I had 15 clients listed for an activated Microsoft Office 2010 key.  The PCs immediately stopped saying that Office had not been activated.

At this time, I do not have an explanation why changing the license key on the client kept telling me that it was invalid, but it worked during KMS host installation and using VAMT 2.0.


In Windows XP there was the advanced file type options which could be changed to open each Excel file in a new instance of Excel. In Windows 7 that advanced option is not available. So, when mulple Excel spreadsheets are opened in Office 2007/2010 on a Windows 7 system, all will open in the same instance. A solution is available, but it involves making lile changes in the registry. I recommend making back up for just in case.  Then follow these steps: [more]

  1. start -> run -> regedit
  2. Go to  HKEY_CLASSES_ ROOT/ Excel.Sheet.8/ shell/Open/command
  3. Double Click on (Default) and write "C:\Program Files\Microso Office\Office12 \EXCEL.EXE" /e "% 1" for Office 2007 or "C:\Program Files\Microso Office\Office14 \EXCEL.EXE" /e "% 1" for Office 2010.
  4. Right Click on Command, choose "rename", and add something to the name (for example 2 (command2))  
  5. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Excel.Sheet.8/ shell/Open/ ddeexec
  6. Right Click on the folder ddeexec, choose "rename", and add something to the name (for example 2 (ddeexec2))
  7. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_RO OT/Excel.Sheet.12/ shell/Open/command 
  8. Double Click on (Default) and write "C:\Program Files\Microso Office\Office12 \EXCEL.EXE" /e "% 1" for Office 2007 or  "C:\Program Files\Microso Office\Office14 \EXCEL.EXE" /e "% 1" for Office 2010. 
  9. Right Click on Command, choose "rename", and add something to the name  (for example 2 (command2)). 

No restart is needed. Excel will now open a new instance for each file opened. I have found that opening mulple .csv files will stay in the same instance, but all .xslx files will open in their own instance. 


I had upgraded a terminal server from Office XP to 2010 recently and users were getting pop up warnings about and names not matching the certificate.  Exchange happened to be setup with both external and internal autodiscover URLs pointing to an external domain address. 

In order to resolve this issue completely, I had to change the internal URLs used by autodiscover in four places.  The URLs need to be configured using the Exchange Power Shell.  The commands I list basically get the value first, and then set the value.  [more]

This article helped me find most of the commands:

Get-AutoDiscoverVirtualDirectory | fl
Set-AutoDiscoverVirtualDirectory -internalUrl “https://internalname/Autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml” -identity “<IDENTITY>”  

Get-ClientAccessServer | fl
Set-ClientAccessServer -Identity "<IDENTITY>” -AutodiscoverServiceInternalURI "https://internalname/Autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml"  

Up to this point, this fixed the SCP URL and allowed the Autodiscover E-mail test to return data.

I had to change the following internal URLs on these services also:

Get-WebServicesVirtualDirectory | fl
Set-WebServicesVirtualDirectory -Identity "<IDENTITY>" -InternalUrl "https://internalname/EWS/Exchange.asmx"

Get-UMVirtualDirectory | fl
Set-UMVirtualDirectory -Identity "<IDENTITY>" -InternalUrl "https://internalname/UnifiedMessaging/Service.asmx"


Office 2010 applications have a Quick Access Toolbar at the top left of each window (default location).  You can right click on this and choose "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" to add additional buttons.  There are some items that are not in the ribbon at all.  One example of this is the Message Options in Outlook.  It is not in the ribbon on the main Outlook window.  Adding this to your Quick Access Toolbar in your Outlook main window will allow you to look at the Internet headers and other information without opening the message.  You can also customize the ribbon, adding new tabs and anything you want, but that is a little more complicated.


I was working in Word when it crashed and only presented me with the options to restart the program or close the program.

I closed the program and checked the document to see the last save time had been an hour or so earlier. When I opened the file, the “recovered document” options were not available and I could see the last hour’s work was not there.

I began to search for a solution which I found in “How to recover a lost Word document.”

There were several recommendations which I tried in sequence with no success. Finally I came down to the suggestion to search my entire hard drive for *.asd files. I did this and found several files, one was my a copy of my crashed document. I opened the *.asd file with word and found all my information in place with nothing lost. [more]

By the way the file was located in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word, which is the default location Word uses to store all “AutoRecover” files. And also by default on my computer, Word was set to autosave every 10 minutes and was set to keep the last autosaved version if Word is closed without saving.

Searching your entire drive for *.asd files, is a good idea if, for some reason, the default settings have been changed and as a result, you don’t know where the *.asd files might be saved.

You can double check the AutoRecover and Autosave settings in Word 2010 by going to Files>Options>Save. These features are also available in Excel and Powerpoint. The AutoRecover file locations are different for each application, but are easy to find by looking in the appropriate folders.


When I'm working on Word 2010 documents located on a file share, particularly when they are included in folders I have synched for offline use, I often receive an error message when trying to open the document.  The message tells me the document is locked for editing by 'another user' and asks if I want to:

  1. Open a read only copy
  2. Create a local copy and merge changes later
  3. Receive notification when the original copy is available

I usually select the last option and wait a minute or two and then receive a message when I can change my access from read only to read/write.  However, this is inconvenient partly because the 'another user' error dialog box almost always ends up displaying underneath the explorer window I am using to open the documents since I usually am opening several related documents at the same time.  There is no indication the dialog box is there until I try to open another Word document and receive a message I must close an open dialog box, etc.  Once I dig around and find the open dialog box, I can respond to receive notification when the original copy is available. [more]
I found numerous notes about this type of problem others are having and found one that suggested I turn off the Windows explorer Details pane to see if that helped.  In fact, it fixed my problem.

However, I kind of like the information provided in the Windows explorer Details pane.  There was also a mention about applying the following hotfix if turning off the Details pane didn't work but I wasn't too excited about a hotfix unless it was absolutely necessary and the description of the hotfix didn't seem to exactly fit my problem.  In particular, it's for non-DFS errors and these files are on a DFS share.


I experienced some odd behavior in Word last week while working on an audit report (I was docked in my office).  Periodically, the blinking cursor in Word would disappear and my document would appear to freeze up.  Neither Word nor my laptop was not locked up because I was able to scroll in the document but when doing so, the document would turn black and my text would either disappear or become garbled, with lines appearing to repeat over and over.  This would last for 20-30 seconds or more.  I tried rebooting to no avail.
At one point, I noticed the proofing cursor was animated, as it does when it is writing to disk. [more]

This made me think the problem might be network latency.
I mentioned my problem to another information security auditor. He suggested it might be related to offline files.  I thought I had reversed the “Always available offline” option for this folder.  However, upon further investigation I found out that I had not.  Once I did so, the problem did not recur.


If you’d like to delete a “block” of text such as spacing at the beginning of several rows of text, use the Ctrl+Shift+F8 key combination.

Place your cursor at the beginning of the first line, press Ctrl+Shift+F8 [more]

Use the right arrow key to highlight the area you wish to delete on the first row, then the down arrow to highlight the same area on the additional lines.

Presto, change-o…the unwanted text (or spaces) are gone!

Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4
Line 5

This is admittedly not as cool, but I accomplish the same thing in Notepad (assuming the block of “text” I want to delete on each line is identical) by using Ctrl+H (Replace), entering the “text” (or spaces) I wish to delete, leaving the “Replace with” field blank and clicking Replace All.


I recently got very annoyed that I couldn’t open 2 instances of Excel.  After a little bit of research, I found out if you open up Excel and go to File -> Options -> Advanced, scroll down to the bottom, and underneath the General section check the “Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange” option.  Here is a screen shot of the setting:


In Microsoft Office 2007, Quick Access Toolbar definitions are stored in .QAT files that are stored in the c:\users\<username>\appdata\local\microsoft\office\ folder for each user.  For Office 2010, these are files that are formatted the same but have .officeUI extensions.  Actually, you can rename the extension of .QAT files and they'll work with 2010.

If you want to retain Quick Access Toolbars, keep a backup copy of your QAT or officeUI files and copy them to the user's appdata file on a new system.