MS Word

Stop Word from Demanding the Installation CD

The Problem:

Microsoft Word keeps demanding the installation CD so that it can install missing components.

The Solution:

By the time you find Word doing this, the horse has already bolted, and it's hard to close the stable door. If you're reading this Annoyance while mulling over whether to install all of Word (or Office) or just those parts of it that you immediately need, mull no longer: unless your computer is critically short of hard disk space, install all the components.

If the version of Word (or Office) you're installing gives you the choice, leave the installation cache on the computer rather than deleting it. That way, Word (or Office) will have the necessary files to either repair itself if components get corrupted or install additional features (if there are any you haven't installed).

Install Multiple Versions of Word on the Same PC

The Problem:

I need to run two or more versions of Word on the same PC so that I can troubleshoot my clients' Word problems. However, Word just wants to overwrite earlier versions of itself.

The Solution:

Word and the other Office applications usually overwrite previous installations of Office on the general principle that you couldn't possibly want them not to. If you're upgrading to a new version of Office, this behavior makes sense, as it prevents you from leaving the old version of Office hanging around. But it's not good news if you want to be able to test your files with the new version of Office before you commit to it.

When you run Office 2003 Setup, the Type of Installation screen (see Figure 1-1) offers you the choice between the Recommended Install (an upgrade) and another type of install. Office XP Setup provides similar choices with different wording and arrangement. The screens list different applications for the different editions of OfficeProfessional, Professional Enterprise, Small Business, or Standardbut the principles are the same.

Use virtual machines for development or support

If you provide support for Word (or other applications) to clients, or if you develop software, consider using virtual machines for your testing and development. A virtual-machine application lets you run a software-based PC within Windows or another operating system. Any changes you make and any crashes that occur are confined to the virtual machine, rather than affecting your productivity applications.

The most widely used virtual-machine applications for Windows are Microsoft's Virtual PC ( and VMware's VMware Workstation ( You can download a time-limited evaluation version of each application.

Figure 1-1. Don't allow Office 2003 Setup to press-gang you into upgrading if you actually want to perform a parallel installation.