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Chapter 4. Customizing Office 2003 > Customizing How Setup Runs

Customizing How Setup Runs

You can always run Setup interactively to install Microsoft Office 2003—or allow users to run Setup interactively. However, by using command-line options or setting values for Setup properties in the Setup settings file (Setup.ini) or in a transform (MST file), you can customize the way Setup installs Office 2003 throughout your organization.

You set most properties that control the behavior of Setup in one of three locations, listed in order of precedence:

  • On the command line

  • In the Setup settings file (Setup.ini)

  • On the Modify Setup Properties page of the Custom Installation Wizard, which stores your settings in a transform (MST file)

Note that settings specified on the Modify Setup Properties page override most corresponding settings specified on previous pages of the wizard.

Customize display settings

When you distribute Office 2003 throughout an organization, you can determine how much of the Setup user interface is displayed to users. You can allow users to interact fully with Setup and make choices that differ from the defaults you specify, or you can run Setup silently so that your configuration of Office is installed with no opportunities to make changes. You can even set different display settings for different portions of the installation process.

You set display options on the command line by using the /q switch or by setting the Display property in Setup.ini. The following display settings are available:

  • none No user interface is displayed; Office is installed silently.

  • basic Only simple progress indicators, error messages, and a completion message are displayed.

  • reduced Full progress indicators and error messages are displayed, but Setup collects no information from the user.

  • full All dialog boxes and messages are displayed to the user, and the user can enter information during the Setup process.


Display settings like /qoption are passed globally to every installation. For example, if you set the display level on the command line or in the [Display] section of Setup.ini, the primary Office 2003 installation and any chained packages are installed with the same level of user interface, unless you set a different display setting for a chained package.

Install Office quietly

By default, Setup installs Office 2003 with a full user interface and displays a completion notice at the end of the installation. When you run Office 2003 Setup silently or with only a basic user interface, you can determine whether users see a completion message when the installation is finished by using the following command-line options:

  • When you install Office with a basic user interface (/qb), Setup displays the completion message by default. To suppress the completion message and display only progress indicators, append a minus sign to the command-line option (/qb-). When you install Office silently, Setup does not display a completion message by default. To force the display of the completion message, append a plus sign to the command-line option (/qb+).

In many large organizations it is more efficient to install Office without any user interaction. In this case, the recommended setting is /qb-, which installs Office as follows:

  • Progress indicators are displayed during the installation.

  • Error messages and other modal dialog boxes are not displayed.

  • Setup does not display a completion notice when the installation is finished.

  • Setup automatically restarts the computer, if necessary, unless the Windows Installer REBOOT property is set to override default behavior.

When you run Office 2003 Setup with a basic or reduced display, users can still click the Cancel button to stop the installation process. However, if you set the NOCANCEL property to 1, then the Cancel button is displayed but is unavailable. Users know that the installation is occurring and they know when it is complete, but they cannot interrupt the process.

You can install Office 2003 with no user interface whatsoever by using the /qn option or by setting the Display option to none in Setup.ini. If you are using a deployment tool such as Microsoft Systems Management Server to run the installation when users are not logged on, then you must use this display setting.

Set unique display settings for other packages

In some circumstances, you might want to specify different display options for different packages installed with Office 2003. You must use Setup.ini to override global display settings set on the command line or in the [Display] section of Setup.ini.

For example, if you install Office 2003 quietly, but you want users to select Microsoft Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Packs (MUI Packs) in the MUI Pack Wizard, you can specify a full user interface for the chained Muiwiz.msi package in the appropriate section of Setup.ini. For example:



If you specify a display setting on the command line, that setting overrides display settings specified in any section of Setup.ini.

Customize the Setup user interface

When you run Office 2003 Setup with a full user interface, you can customize some of the text and buttons that users see by setting properties on the command line, in Setup.ini, or on the Modify Setup Properties page of the Custom Installation Wizard.

Customize installation type descriptions

If a user selects the Custom Install option, Setup prompts for the installation location and then displays a list of Office applications or a hierarchy of Office features so that the user can select an installation state for each one. You can change descriptive text for the Custom Install option. For example, if you have omitted Microsoft Office Access 2003 from the installation, but you want to tell users how to install it for themselves, specify the following:

CUSTOMINSTALLDESCRIPTION="By default Access is not installed. Click Custom Install
to install Access on your computer."


You can also customize the button labels and descriptive text for the Upgrade, Typical Install, Minimal Install, and Run from Network Install installation options. Each of the following properties is described in detail in Appendix B, “Office 2003 Resource Kit Reference”:













Although you can customize the text that describes the Complete Install option, you cannot change the radio button label for this installation option.

Customize Add/Remove Programs

You can customize what users see in Add/Remove Programs (Control Panel) when they run Office 2003 Setup in maintenance mode. For example, to help prevent users from changing an installed Office configuration, you can set the ARPNO-MODIFY property in a transform. When users run Office 2003 Setup in maintenance mode, the Change button in Add/Remove Programs is unavailable.


In Microsoft Windows XP or later, users without administrative privileges are prevented from changing or removing programs listed in Add/Remove Programs.

For more information about customizing Add/Remove Programs, look up properties that begin with ARP in “Setup Properties” in Appendix B, “Office 2003 Resource Kit Reference.”

Customize logging options

Both Office 2003 Setup and Windows Installer generate log files during the installation process. You cannot set options for the Setup log file; however, Windows Installer allows you to set a number of logging options that apply to each package that it installs during Office 2003 Setup. Note that any logging options you set apply to all log files created by Windows Installer during the Office 2003 installation; you cannot specify unique logging options for a chained package.

Set logging options in Setup.ini

You can set Windows Installer logging options by specifying values in the [Logging] section of the Setup settings file. In Setup.ini, you specify the logging options by setting the Type option, and you determine a name for the log files by setting the Template option. The following example shows the syntax used in Setup.ini:

Template=<file name>.txt

You must include the .txt file extension when you specify a Setup log file name. Appending an asterisk (*) to the file name results in a unique log file for each installation performed by Setup.exe. The same log file name is used for each Windows Installer log file, with the incremented task number appended to the base file name. For example:


These values create the following verbose log files during the installation process and store them in the %Temp% folder on each user’s computer. (%Temp% is the default location for log files.) This example assumes that a log file with the same base name and numbered 0002 already exists in the folder.

Log fileDescription
OfficeSetup(0003).txtSetup.exe log file
OfficeSetup(0003)_Task(0001).txtOffice 2003 log file
OfficeSetup(0003)_Task(0002).txtLog file for first chained package


Verbose logging is useful to diagnose installation problems during the testing phase or after a failed installation; however, verbose logging can produce very large log files.

Set logging options on the command line

You can set the same logging options on the command line by using /loption.

For example:

/lv* 'Office Setup(*).txt"

This example creates a log file in the default %Temp% folder, automatically increments the number in the file name, and instructs Windows Installer to use verbose logging with all logging parameters.


If your custom log file name includes spaces, you must enclose it in quotation marks on the command line.

The logging options you use with /l determine what information is written to the log file. For a description of logging options, see /l in “Setup Command-line Options” in Appendix B, “Office 2003 Resource Kit Reference.”

Specify a new installation location

By default, Setup installs Office 2003 in the Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11 folder on each user’s computer. You can change this location by specifying a different path for the INSTALLLOCATION property on the command line or in the Setup settings file.

In the Office Custom Installation Wizard, you can specify a default value for the installation location on the Specify Default Path and Organization page. You can also specify the location by setting the INSTALLLOCATION property on the Modify Setup Properties page of the wizard.


Like Office 2000 and Office XP, Office 2003 is always installed in a version-specific folder. If you choose to retain a previous version of Office on the computer, you can specify the same custom location. Setup installs Office 2003 in a version-specific subfolder of that location so that previous files are not overwritten.

Manage the local installation source

When Office is installed from the Office 2003 CD or a compressed CD image, Setup automatically copies required installation files to a hidden folder on the local computer. Windows Installer uses this local installation source to install Office, and the local source remains available for repairing, reinstalling, or updating Office later on. Users can install features on demand or run Setup in maintenance mode to add new features even when they do not have access to the original source.

You can customize how Setup handles the creation of the local installation source by modifying properties in the [Cache] section of Setup.ini:

  • LOCALCACHEDRIVE Specify a different drive for the local installation source.

  • CDCACHE Enable or disable local caching.

  • DELETEABLECACHE Give users the option to delete the local installation source at the end of Setup.

For more information about setting these properties, see [CACHE] in “Setup Settings File” in Appendix B, “Office 2003 Resource Kit Reference.”

To take advantage of a local installation source, users must install Office from a CD or compressed CD image on the network. To facilitate this deployment option, the Custom Installation Wizard contains a new page for handling the end-user license agreement (EULA) and Volume License Key (PIDKEY). For more information, see “Taking Advantage of a Local Installation Source” in Chapter 3, “Preparing to Deploy Office 2003.”

Handle Setup problems

Office 2003 Setup helps you manage Setup problems in the following ways:

  • Customize the error messages that users see when they run Setup with a full or reduced user interface.

    For example, you can add text to the error message box that refers users to an internal support group. Specify a string value for the SUPPORTERROR-STRING property on the command line, in Setup.ini, or in a transform.

  • Collect data about Setup failures.

    In Office 2003, Setup Error Reporting is a subset of Corporate Error Reporting. By default, Setup Error Reporting (Dw.exe) is turned off when you create an administrative installation point. However, you can turn it back on by setting the SETUPDW property to True.

    When you redirect error reporting to an internal location, information from Setup failures is recorded there, too. In order to take advantage of this functionality, you must configure Corporate Error Reporting policies before you deploy Office. For more information, see “Reporting Office 2003 Application Crashes” in Chapter 19, Maintaining Office 2003 Installations.”

Related links

For a detailed description of each section of Setup.ini, see “Setup Settings File” in Appendix B, “Office 2003 Resource Kit Reference.”

For definitions and examples of the Setup properties and command-line options that you can use during an Office installation, see “Setup Command-line Options” and “Setup Properties” in Appendix B, “Office 2003 Resource Kit Reference.”

For additional information about Windows Installer properties and command-line options, see the Platform SDK on the MSDN Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/msi/setup/roadmap_to_windows_installer_documentation.asp.

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