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Office 2007 SP2 – changes and problems

The known problems and major ‘behavior changes’ in SP2.

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If you look waaaay down Microsoft’s SP2 documentation you’ll find a list of ‘Known Issues and behavior changes’ , or in other words, things that work differently once you install Service Pack 2 or don’t work at all.

Why? Microsoft Office is an extremely complex collection of software, and in trying to fix one problem it might cause a bug somewhere else. Sometimes Microsoft has to make a judgment about which bug is the ‘least worst’ result. If they tried to fix all the bugs then Service Pack 2 would probably never get released or it would take way too long to reach the public.

As users we don’t always agree with Microsoft’s choices, but at least the company is more forthcoming about these problems than they have been in the past. One reason we suggest waiting a little while before installing Microsoft Office Service Pack 2 – wait and see if any other issues become ‘known’.

Some of these notes and accompanying Knowledge Base articles aren’t very forthcoming. For example the mention of “a new ISO-OOXML-compliant password verifier for Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, and Word 2007” sounds very interesting for security conscious customers but the KB article tells you nothing more than the summary line.

Known issues and behavior changes

After you install this service pack, you may notice the following issues:

  • Chart text object model calls do not work on a sub-string that is designated by parameters to theCharactersobject.

  • The ExcelChartWizardcommand programmatically exposes incorrect XValues for some series after the XValue is changed. However, theChartTypeproperty works correctly.

  • After you apply SP2, theSend to OneNote 2007option may no longer appear. You can resolve this issue by running a "repair on Office" operation.

  • In Outlook, assume that a meeting organizer sends a meeting request to an attendee by using a POP account. Then, the attendee responds to the meeting request and types a message in the response. In this situation, the organizer receive the response, but the message contents may be lost.

  • In PowerPoint, assume that a section of text that contains multiple languages is selected. In this situation, the language of that text selection is reported as English (U.S.) instead of being blank. This is visible both on the status bar (at the bottom of a PowerPoint window) and in theLanguagedialog box.

  • 968767The Chart axis settings may be wrong if both axes are turned off and the axis settings are automatic in Excel 2007
  • 948683You cannot use Microsoft Visual Basic for Application (VBA) to modify a chart that you have inserted in PowerPoint 2007
  • 968769Groove 2007 Service Pack 1 and earlier versions of Groove 2007 crash after you create or join lots of file sharing workspaces
  • 968285On a client computer that has certain Help files for 2007 Office programs installed, an additional SP2 entry may incorrectly display in the Address Resolution Protocol after you install the 2007 Office SP2
  • 968773When Outlook 2007 is running in Cached mode, users do not see some new e-mail messages
  • 968918The Change Calendar Time Zone button is removed in the Time Zone dialog box in Outlook 2007 after you apply the 2007 Office suite Service Pack 2
  • 968776When you move one of the default drawing guides on a slide in a PowerPoint 2007 document, the drawing guide becomes invisible
  • 968779You are prompted to convert your document to the Office Open XML format when you save a document in the encrypted binary file format in Word 2007, Excel 2007, or PowerPoint 2007 on a computer that has the 2007 Microsoft Office suite SP 2 installed
  • 968781The 2007 Office suite Service Pack 2 provides a new ISO-OOXML-compliant password verifier for Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, and Word 2007
  • 968173Known issues that you may experience when you install the 2007 Microsoft Office suite Service Pack 2 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 2

Source: Microsoft

The section above is 'as supplied' by Microsoft at the time of SP2's release.  The key part of the heading is 'behavior changes'.  Microsoft is trying to alert people to things that will act differently when SP2 is installed.

But on closer inspection, we have to wonder why some of the KB articles are in this Microsoft list because they seem to read as SP2 bug fixes instead of behaviour changes.

For example the Groove 2007 mention is clearly an SP2 bug fix for a situation where Groove crashes.  The Change Time Zone KB is a clear behaviour change.  Some others are in a middle-ground you could argue it's a bug fix and a behaviour change, the latter if you were relying on the way Office worked before SP2 or had some workaround.


Article posted: Tuesday, 28 April 2009

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