Sunday, March 13, 2016

Office 2007 With Wine

Every once in a while I need a real honest to Bill version of Microsoft Office. Not often, but it happens.

Now I have a three license copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition, purchased back in the day when Child No. 1 had a Windows computer. That computer is long gone and replace by a Mac. I could install this copy on Hal's Windows partition, but that means I have to reboot and update Windows 7 every time I want to use the software. Irritating.

Then yesterday I was updating my Harmony Remote, and found that the update software would run on Linux under Wine. True, the fonts were ugly, but hey, it ran, and given that updating a remote is a run-up-and-down-the-stairs-10-times kind of thing, having one less step was a blessing.

Now I've tried Wine before, and never been all that happy with it. But maybe it's now good enough, so what the heck.

Having installed Wine via the Synaptic Package Manager, I went looking to see if there was help for the Office install on the internet, and lo and behold, I found How to Install Microsoft Office 2007 in Ubuntu (Under Wine).

What can I say? As I said, I already had Wine installed, so it was mostly point at setup.exe and click. What do you know, it worked, right down to finding the riched20.dll library and correcting it so that PowerPoint would run.

Now this was a copy of Office 2007, so it's a little out of date. Fortunately, Microsoft is providing extended support until 2017, so it's still viable. There was a problem, though: Microsoft Update wants to work with Internet Explorer, and I don't have that installed under Wine — in fact, I don't know if I can install it properly, and I'm not inclined to try. But you can go fetch the update directly from Microsoft. Just download, make it executable, and run it from a terminal, ignoring all of those evil looking error messages.

A couple of things: LMDE puts all of the Office Suite in the Other tab of the menu. You can edit the menu, make an M$Office tab to hold everything, and move it there. Second, dialog boxes often revert to Wine's font, which is horrible. But Office itself uses native Office fonts, which is what we really want.

Now I have no idea what happens if you try this with a newer version of Office. This works for Office 2007, which was written for Windows XP. If you get a newer version running, leave a comment.