Custom presence states in Communicator, reprise

A quick follow on to my post the other day about having custom presence states in Office Communicator 2007 - the Communicator Deployment Guide has a couple of minor errors which could frustrate you, as one commenter pointed out, and I've had comments from a couple of people who've had trouble getting it working.

There may be some gotchas with the XML file you create, too (especially if you accidentally end up with an invalid XML file as I did at first attempt). A tip would be to check that your XML will render in Internet Explorer OK (by double-clicking) - if it doesn't, then Office Communicator isn't going to like it. Also, you'll need to make sure you use the correct language codes - English being 1033, something that's not all that obvious in the documentation

Here's my XML - if you want to, just copy this to Notepad, save it as OCSSTATUS.XML and make sure the URL in your registry points to the location where you put that XML file (see below...)

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<customStates xmlns=



       <customState ID="1" availability="online">
              <activity LCID="1033">Working from Home</activity>
       <customState ID="2" availability="online">
              <activity LCID="1033">Fine and Dandy</activity>
       <customState ID="3" availability="busy">
              <activity LCID="1033">Meeting with Customer</activity>
       <customState ID="4" availability="do-not-disturb">
              <activity LCID="1033">Presenting and Projecting</activity>

To add the value to the registry, either do it manually or else copy the following block of text to Notepad and save it as OCSSTATUS.REG file, then double-click on that to import to the registry.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Note the format of the URL - unless you're picking up the XML file from a network resource, it will be a file: type, but the correct formatting of that URL is to use three forward slashes before the drive letter.

Hope this helps!

Comments (4)
  1. Anonymous says:

    So every time I demonstrate Office Communicator, and browse to find Ewan’s name during my demo, I get

  2. EwanD says:

    Jorge – you might want to try changing the & (an ampersand) to &amp – that is normal XML syntax.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I posted a while back about custom presence states ( here and here ). Well it turns out that a change

  4. Jorge Verdera says:

    This is a very good feature. The only problem I had was that I used the "&" sign and my XML would not parse correctly.

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