If you are planning to customize your Office 2010 deployment significantly, then at some point, you will more than likely need to make changes to the registry. Perhaps you wrote a custom add-in that you need to define (In “HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins”), or maybe you want to tweak the status bar in more detail than OCT or Group Policy allows (In “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Word\StatusBar”). Whatever the case, you are probably going to find yourself wondering what is the best way to effect these changes.
In this post, I would like to describe a robust and efficient way to control Office 2010 registry settings, using a combination of the Microsoft Office Customization Tool (OCT) and a little known feature in Office 2010 (and Office 2007 for that matter) best described as HKLM –> HKCU Propagation.
Let’s try to understand a little more about why changing these settings can be difficult.
Firstly, registry settings for Office are applied by default, at various stages during the deployment process. These stages include:
- During the Office installation
- After the Office installation
- When the user who installed Office first launches an Office application
- When a different user first launches an Office application
- When settings are changed by the user at some other point in time
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