Office for Mere Mortals helps people around the world get more from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Delivered once a week. free.
Office 2007 SP2 problems remain unsolved.
Here are details of some possible Office 2007 Service Pack 2 problems we’ve been told about. We say possible only because in most cases we’ve been unable to confirm the details ourselves and there’s been no response from Microsoft yet.
Still best to wait
We can only say it again, “patience grasshopper”. Any Office service pack is incredibly complex and bound to have unintended consequences. That’s not intended as a criticism of Microsoft, it’s the reality with any complicated software.
Most people won’t strike a problem but if you do it can lead to hours of frustration and angst. It’s better, in our opinion, to wait a few weeks until Microsoft ‘comes clean’ about problems. At the very least Microsoft should document any SP2 problem so people are aware and preferably there’s a patch or workaround available.
This list isn’t meant to be complete – we assume there are other SP2 related issues. There are also the ones we’ve mentioned in two previous articles:
- Can’t access Global Address List GAL
- ‘Send to OneNote’ disappears
- Outlook Desktop Alerts stop?
- More than ten other known bugs or changes announced by Microsoft at the time of SP2’s release.
Service Pack 2 introduces support for the rival document format to Microsoft’s OpenXML format (.docx etc). It was almost inevitable that there would be problems with Office 2007 dealing with non-native formats like the OpenDocument format – ODF.
Microsoft talks about ‘native’ support for ODF meaning that people can open, save and make default the ODF formats. It does NOT mean that ODF files are now totally integrated into Office 2007 – what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’ is that Office takes the ODF file then converts it to and from Microsoft’s preferred document format while working with it. Any document conversion process, even though it’s unseen by the user, is inevitably going to cause trouble. If anyone thought that ODF support in Office 2007 was going to work smoothly, please contact me because I have a spare Brooklyn Bridge that I’d like to sell them
The main concern is with spreadsheets. Some ODF worksheets have formulas and data stripped when opened in Excel 2007 SP2.
The problem is the differing ODF standards (v1.1 vs v1.2) leading to an unedifying sniping match between Microsoft and supporters of the ODF format – an exchange which does no credit to anyone involved.
We’ll look into ODF compatibility in detail in coming weeks – for the moment let’s say that we’d not be committing any organization using Office 2007 SP2 with ODF as the default format. It’s fine for opening and saving ODF documents on an occasional basis with the exception of ODF worksheets which are best avoided.
Outlook speed – what speed?
Many, many messages from Office Watch readers who can’t see any noticeable improvement in Outlook 2007’s response despite the, perhaps overstated, claims of over 25% improvement in common tasks.
“Outlook 2007 SP2 affords no increase in speed. It still takes forever for Outlook to load, there’s a delay still in the reading pane when moving from one message to another” – Sheldon B.
Outlook 2007 still won’t close
“and it appears that when you close down the program, it leaves processes running that grab the .pst file for minutes before you can use scanpst or move your pst file. No improvement from where I sit.” – Sheldon B, again!
As we’ve noted, the Outlook close-down problem has been addressed in SP2 but it also requires the third-party products to comply with new requirements and that will take some time. The ‘third-party’ programs include some Microsoft products!
We’d expect/hope that over time Outlook 2007 SP2 will shut down more elegantly as the related products are updated to match. This isn’t an immediate SP2 fix as much as a (much overdue) addition to Outlook which should bear fruit in the future.
Outlook 2007 SP2 won’t start
“After installing this update on all our terminal server in our lab (8 servers). They all fail to start outlook after installing SP2. It will only start once and after that it will not start anymore. Nothing happens when you click the shortcut. In the Taskmanager you see outlook.exe briefly appearing and then disappearing again. No error message is given, nothing is logged in the eventlog. It just won’t start. Uninstalling SP2 solves the issue immediately.”
– Franz from the Netherlands
Obviously not everyone is having this problem, perhaps there’s a problem running Outlook in some Terminal Server situations?
Can’t open Publisher 2007 documents
There’s a problem opening some Publisher documents using Publisher 2007 with SP2. An error code / message 1100009 appears.
The same .pub document opens with Publisher 2007 SP1 with no problem.
Microsoft Support has been made aware of the problem but there’s nothing on the Knowledge Base and no word about a fix.
You can try suggested steps at KB928890 “Error message when you try to open a publication in Publisher: “Publisher cannot open the file” or “Publisher has detected a problem” however they don’t seem to have any effect for this SP2 problem.
Clearly Publisher 2007 users should stick with SP1 for the moment.
Connecting to Global Address List from Outlook
There are plenty of reports that the Global Address List (GAL) can’t connect to Outlook 2007 with SP2 installed.
The most complete reports we can see come, second-hand, from a Sandy Donald reporting on the UKSBSG Yahoo! Group.
His tests suggests there’s a problem with Outlook 2007 SP2 linking to directories (but not mailboxes or public folders) when the connection is via HTTP. That would explain why the problem isn’t happening for all Outlook/Exchange Server users and why most Outlook functions (like mail) still work.
Access 2007 SP2 problems
Helen Feddema from Access Watch reports some Access SP2 problems she’s found:
“I haven’t done thorough testing yet, but since installing SP2 (no installation problems), I have written some code to save Word docs to PDF automatically, from VBA code (great!), but on the other hand, in Access an old problem from the beta of Office 2007 has re-emerged: Combo boxes lose their back color erratically, like this:
I also tried to create a Find Duplicates query today, in Access 2007 SP2, and got a strange error message (about the name “” not being valid) on the final step. The same query could be created with no problems in SP1, or Access 2003 for that matter. I created the query in Access 2003 (on my other computer), then copied and pasted the SQL into the Access 2007 query, and it worked fine. So it looks like the problem is just with the Find Duplicates Wizard.”
- Office update status page
- Office 2007 Service Pack 2 – some time on
- Microsoft’s ODF Support Falls Short
- How to uninstall Office 2007 Service Pack 2
- Service Pack 2 bugs – real or imagined?
- Office 2007 SP2 – what’s caught our eye
- Faster Outlook – what took them so long?
- Office 2007 Service Pack – downloads available now
- Office 2007 SP2 – changes and problems
- Office 2007 SP2 – list of fixes
Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office. Independent since 1996. Delivered once a week.