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Office 2004 #7: Remove Office warning; registration issues; application-specific issues

Office 2004 #7: Remove Office warning; registration issues; application-specific issues

Today we continue our coverage of reader feedback on Office 2004.

General Issues

    "Remove Office" warning Although Microsoft Office 2004 includes a utility, "Remove Office," for uninstalling Office, reader Gabriel Dorado notes that the utility is a bit more thorough than expected:

    "If you have more than one hard disk [containing Office] connected to your computer and use the 'Remove Office' will discover that such application not only removes Office from [the boot] disk, but from all disks connected to the Mac. Workaround: disconnect the other disks from the Mac before applying the 'Remove Office' application."

    Registration issues We've received a number of reports of problems when attempting to register Office 2004 via the Microsoft website. In each report, the user is told that the Office 2004 Product ID is invalid. Robert McClure's story is representative:

    "I had no problem installing Office 2004 on my 17" PB using one of the three product installation keys. I was, however, not able to register the software online. The form kept saying that my Product ID was invalid. (This number is given in the 'About' window of each application.) This happened when I tried to register using the online forms from various places. I have tried to contact MS using e-mail from their support page, but have not received a reply. No procedure for registering by mail was included."


    Symbol issues (Also, see the PowerPoint "bullets" issue, below, as the two may be related.) Gabriel Dorado also reports an issue with particular symbols in Word v.X files that do not appear properly when those files are opened in Word 2004:

    "If you open a Word v.X file with Word 2004, all the Apple character [the Apple logo character] are changed to a rectangle. The same with other 'special' characters. When you copy such rectangle character and past it into the Find window it shows as a white question mark inside a black rhombus. Weird enough, if you copy from such find window again and paste it into Eudora Pro 6.1 it show as an Apple again, but pasting into a Word file shows as a rectangle."

    We can confirm this issue: If, using the Times font, we insert the Apple logo character in a document in Word v.X, and then open that same document in Word 2004 (on the same computer, to ensure that the same font file is being used), the Apple logo character is changed to a box. (This box looks just like the one seen when the font needed to show a special character is missing.) Likewise, if we insert the Apple logo character in a document in Word 2004, when that document is opened in Word v.X the Apple logo character instead looks like a simple underscore character. However, unlike Gabriel, at least in the Times font, we only see this issue with the Apple logo character. All other special characters transfer fine. (That's not to say that the issue won't happen for other fonts.)

    Gabriel notes a workaround: "Find and replace [the affected characters in] the document, thus regenerating the Apple icon characters. Yet problems could arise if not all your wrongly replaced characters are the same because you could end up replacing the wrong way. Thus, take care when applying this workaround to make sure that you replace what you want to replace until a patch fixes this flaw."


    Problems expanding/collapsing grouped messages Scott Rose notes an issue with grouped messages that has been confirmed on the Entourage-Talk mailing list:

    "If you're viewing your messages with the preview pane below the list and you have your messages shown in groups, you cannot click on the little grouping triangles to open & close [expand/collapse -Ed] them. This [procedure] works when the preview pane is to the right of the [message] list, but not when the pane is below the list."

    "Unread" views issue and "Refresh" solution Reader "chanworks" notes an issue when using the "Unread" Mail View:

    "When you use Mail Views, if you pick [Unread], all your messages that are unread from any folder will appear in the window. If you read a message it is [then] listed as read in that window. In Office X (v10) you could go to another window, or another Mail View, and come back and the messages you read would now be gone. But that no longer works in the [Mail View] for Unread messages."

    We've seen this issue, as well. However, we've found that selecting the affected Mail View and then choosing View -> Refresh message List (or pressing command L) correctly refreshes the Mail View -- meaning the "read" messages no longer appear.

    Palm/invite problem Mike Kaplan reports a problem using Entourage's "invite" feature when an event was originally created on a Palm PDA and then synced to Entourage. According to Mike, Microsoft is aware of the issue and is trying to resolve it.

    Problems downloading images MacFixIt reader Dan Silver describes an issue downloading images contained in email messages:

    "When I try to use the 'Download Pictures' button in e-mails that contain graphics (typically graphic rich HTML 'e-flyers') and [that are sent by people] not in my address book, [Entourage] at first appears to do nothing (i.e., no pictures download) and then the choice to do so disappears completely, and [Entourage] still doesn?t download the pictures. I have to add the [sender] to the address book, then quit and restart Entourage to have [the images] download from their server. This is consistent with e-mail from multiple sources."

    Exchange/Norton AntiVirus conflict David Toub reports an issue where Entourage 2004 appears to be causing the anti-virus on the Exchange Server (not the Mac running Entourage 2004) to "quarantine" message attachments:

    "Ever since installing Office 2004, my network administrator is getting dozens of alerts from Norton AntiVirus on the Exchange Server side of things, all involving documents in my Sent Items folder (which I know to be quite safe since I created them on my iBook!). Example:

      Sender of the message: Unknown Sender
      Subject of the message:
      The attachment "XXXXX.doc" was Quarantined.
      This was done due to the following Symantec Mail Security settings:
      Policy: Standard
      SubPolicy: Exception SubPolicy
      Rule: Unscannable File Rule

    "I suspect this relates to Entourage 2004 and how it may be protecting items from being scanned, but this is just a theory of mine. Any thoughts or similar experiences?"


    Word 2004 fixes v.X "DLL" error On a positive note, Gabriel Dorado also reports that Excel 2004 fixes a bug that existed in Excel v.X:

    "Versions of Excel previous to 2004 could not open some Excel files created on Windows machines. You got: 'Error in loading DLL.' Excel 2004 opens such Excel files."


    Bullet issues Yesterday we covered a report of an issue where choosing one type of bullet point results in a completely different bullet point character being used. We've since received confirmations of this issue from other readers. David Foster writes:

    "I can confirm this behavior on my dual 2GHz G5...if you choose a character from the option button you only occasionally get what you select. Often it is something entirely else (surprise bullets). This is freaky behavior for a top-of-the-line office suite. I suspect its unicode madness -- it's afflicted a few other programs (like EazyDraw). Picture Fonts and OS X just don't get along well. Anyway MS needs to fix this fast as having programs do things you didn't ask them to is very disconcerting when you are against the wall trying to press out a business presentation."

    We've also confirmed this issue in-house using the Office Test Drive. (We haven't yet received our own copies of Office 2004.)

Office 2004 experiences? Drop us an email at

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