Today, the Office engineering team is announcing the general availability of the Office Customization Tool. With this new web-based tool you can easily customize the deployment of Office 365 ProPlus and other Click-to-Run managed Office products using a simple, intuitive, and web-based interface. The tool is an Azure-based cloud service which allows you to create XML configuration files that are used with the Office Deployment Tool. In the past, you needed to create the configuration files in Notepad or another text editor. The Office Customization Tool makes this part of the deployment process easier and less likely to introduce errors.
This tool provides a simple experience which allows you to create a configuration file for use with the Office Deployment Tool, for scenarios where you need to customize the installation of Office 365 ProPlus. Common scenarios include:
Initial installation of Office 365 ProPlus or Office 365 Business suites as well as Office 2019 suites, with the ability to include standalone products such as Visio and Project and various language packs.
Adding additional products after the initial installation of the Office suite
Adding additional language packs by configuring a ‘Language Only’ configuration after the installation of the Office suite or standalone products
Standalone installation of Office 365 Access Runtime
Installation of volume licensed products with automatic KMS and MAK activation
Automatic removal of previous MSI based Office products
To work with the service, go to https://config.office.com/ and choose the products, languages, and application settings you want to configure. For example, you can create a configuration file that downloads the 64-bit English version of Office 365 ProPlus, or you can create a file that installs the 64-bit English and German version of Office without Access and Publisher and with the EULA automatically accepted. When choosing a language, MatchOS is a popular option and allows Office to install support for the same languages that are installed for Windows on the targeted device. When you're done, you export the configuration file, which you can then use with the Office Deployment Tool or another software distribution solution to deploy Office in your organization.
Choosing a product and a language are the minimum requirements to create a configuration file, but there are many more options to choose from to customize the deployment.
Removal of existing MSI based Office products with the ability to ignore standalone products like Visio, Project, SharePoint Designer and InfoPath. These options ensure a smooth upgrade to the latest version of Office in a single deployment step.
Choose to install and update directly from the Microsoft CDN or to host the Office package locally.
Include Office application preferences to define the best experience for your users when they begin using the latest version of Office.
You can also use the Office Customization Tool to make changes to existing configuration files, which is very useful when you need to modify the configuration of Office on devices that are already installed and configured or if you are creating a second or third configuration and you want to use your own baseline. Simply use the Import option and select the configuration file you wish to modify, make the desired changes, and use the Export option to generate a new configuration file.
Are you using Configuration Manager to manage your deployments or configuration changes? If so you will be happy to know that as of 1806, Configuration Manager has integrated the Office Customization Tool with the Microsoft Office 365 Client Installation Wizard as part of their Application deployment workflow, giving administrators access to the same experience and the same set of features1 described above. And if you haven’t yet upgraded to 1806, use the Office Customization Tool to generate the XML and incorporate that into your package.