Install Office 2010 Over Office 2007

Boghound asked the Office & Business Software forum if he could install Office 2010 over Office 2007 and retain macros, default fonts, and other settings.

My immediate response to that question was "I would assume so. Even Microsoft wouldn't be that stupid." Then I figured I should test it and make sure.

I found out that Microsoft is, well, just a little bit stupid. Most of the data and settings stayed, but not everything, and not always without effort.

I concentrated on two programs: Outlook and Word.

Outlook was simple. Everything that was in Outlook 2007 before the installation--accounts, emails, contacts, and so on--were there afterwards.

Word was more problematic. I checked five user-configurable aspects of Word:

  • New words in the spelling dictionary
  • AutoCorrect
  • The default font
  • User-created macros
  • Whether the Quick Access Toolbar contained icons to some of those macros.

The very first time I launched it, Office 2010 knew the added dictionary words and the AutoCorrect additions, but not the default font, the macros, or the Quick Access Bar settings.

Word saves the default font and macros in the normal.dotm template file, and it didn't take me long to discover the problem. The installation had renamed that file normalOld.dotm. The act of loading Word then created a new normal.dotm file with just the default settings.

All I had to do to fix the problem was go to the templates folder (probably C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates, where yourname is the name with which you log onto Windows), and, with Word closed, delete normal.dotm, then rename normalOld.dotm to normal.dotm. The default font and the macros were just fine after that.

The really bad part: I had to customize the Quick Access Bar all over again.

So yes, you can install Office 2010 over a customized 2007 installation, but be prepared to do some work afterwards.

Read the original forum discussion.

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