I Learned a neat trick I’d like to share with you all.  It’s called “How to do a basic silent install of Office 2010”

This works on Project 2010, Visio 2010 and Office Professional 2010.   But the technique is not unique to them.  Just the particular commands.

In truth, this is nothing new.  You could ALWAYS automate the install of Microsoft Office.  If you had a Volume license version, you could setup a copy of the Network (Administrative Install).  Your other choice was the Office Customization Utility.

But again, those were targeted to the Volume licenses.

YOU can take advantage of those same techniques, if only to simply the install for your technicians and Customers.  Make life simpler.

Shhhhhh… don’t tell.  It’s actually quite easy.

First off, if you have the installer that is a Single file executable you’re going to need to produce the Install folder we all know and love.   It’s an easy task to pull off.

I cheated.

I typed on the command prompt

en-office-professional-plus-2010-x86-515486.exe /?

and it produced this lovely bit of info!


So I created a little folder on C: called “Office” (Did I mention I’m not very creative with my folder names?) and ran

en-office-professional-plus-2010-x86-515486.exe /extract:C:Office

Giving me after a few seconds of a progress bar my familiar old friend the install folder.  Please note, if you have the DVD, you can just go ahead and copy the Files but presently we Technet/MSDN users have a giant executable

Next you need to create a file at the root of that folder called “Custom.XML”.   Now you can get a SAMPLE of it online at Technet’s Config.XML Technical Reference . It’s right near the bottom.  But if you look in the mail folder under the root ending .WW like this picture here

image image


You’ll find there is copy sitting right inside there.  Just to save you some time I found a few things about that file (and why It didn’t work for me the first time)

Lines beginning with “<! -–“ and ending with “ ––>” are comments.  Everything in between is just eye Candy until you get rid of the comments.

Don’t just uncomment everything.  Doesn’t work.  You’ll have a silent install launching and caching data and doing nothing.   Well nothing except eat up CPU cycles.

Simplicity is best.  Start with some SMALL automating (like the Company Name / User Name) and work your way up.   Makes troubleshooting the first time easier.

But here’s what I found, I only needed about 6 lines to make it all work. Best of all?  It’s takes NOTHING (I mean NOTHING) to carry that Config.XML file to another Office Product and change it for that Product. 

All you need are two pieces of info, The Product Name and the Product Key.  One is easy to find, it’s stuck on the box or with the OEM pack.   The other is found by looking into that magic .WW folder.   Inside there is another .XML file called “SETUP.XML”.  Open that with Notepad or your choice of editor for Text Based file and look for the line marked <Setup Id=”ProPlusr” Type (yadda yadda yadda doo dah)


That part between the quotes is your ProductID (Professional Plus Retail, Visio etc)

So with THIS simple XML file (Yes, I’m going to save you the nasty work)

——- Begin Custom.XML ——

<Configuration Product="VisioR">
<Display Level="Basic" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="yes" />
<USERNAME Value="MyUserName" />
<COMPANYNAME Value="MyCompanyName" />
<OptionState Id="ProductFiles" State="local" Children="force" />

——– End Custom.XML ——-

This is for Visio (as can be seen by the first line

“<Configuration Product=”VisioR”>

This is the line you need to edit for whichever Office Product you are installing

The line marked

<Display Level="Basic" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="yes" />


Controls just how much information gets thrown at the user. In this case it’s Basic (Status Bar), No completion Notice with the EULA Accepted and Errors hidden away

These Two fields are pretty self explanatory and no, you don’t need to have them in.

<USERNAME Value="MyUserName" />
<COMPANYNAME Value="MyCompanyName" />


This line marked “OptionState”

<OptionState Id="ProductFiles" State="local" Children="force" />


Will identify the options you’re going to install.  You can find several examples of these “OptionID” inside SETUP.XML But I found this one (the Root) the most useful.  In a nutshell I have selected “Install ALL of it”.  I like to keep this simple.

Of course this is the most important line, the Product Key.


Replace the part between the quotes with your 25 digit product key WITHOUT the “-“ (Hyphens)

you choose to NOT have the Product key entered, I recommend changing the “Basic” to “Full” under <Display Level="Basic"

It won’t be a true “silent install” but it’s only Two clicks of a mouse which isn’t bad.

If you’re running an OEM or RETAIL key on the install and WANT a silent install you’ll have to delete the subkeys BELOW this registry key on each workstation to prompt the user for the Key upon startup


That should prompt for a new Key upon startup of Office

But honestly?  Look into a Volume License copy of Office and Windows anyhow.  There are some great advantages with it (Like the ability to just have ONE deploy point and image and the Office 2010 Customization tool.   That Tool can take your Silent deploys to a whole Nudda level!)

But there you have it.   Office 2010.  East to deploy with just one file.

The Power is in YOU

The Energized Tech