Troubleshooting MS Office for Mac on Mavericks

Troubleshooting MS Office for Mac on Mavericks

Summary: It appears that Mavericks and MS Office can play nicely together. However, problem areas include duplicate fonts and localized versions.


Yes, Office for Mac 2011 is compatible with OS X Mavericks, and even, the older, unsupported 2008 version. Still, there are issues with the updated OS that can bring some workflows to a halt.

At the Office for Mac Help blog, Diane Ross offers a couple of excellent troubleshooting guides. The first offers a punch-list for iS managers to run down a range of problems that users of Office for Mac 2011 may have with Mavericks, and the second is aimed at dealing specifically with the font issues.

Ross says that non-English versions of Office for Mac 2011 are having problems with Mavericks and she points to a user reported fix.

In addition, the Microsoft Error Reporting Tool (MERP), which as its name suggests collects and reports app and system information for crashes, is having problems. Now, this tool often develops problems any time that Apple updates the OS, so this problem with Mavericks is small surprise. MERP can be turned off in Office prefs or in the Library/Application Support/Microsoft/MERP2.0 folder.

Ross offers a general process checklist for testing Office for Mac 2011 (or any application for that matter) using Etresoft's EtreCheck debugging report tool. It's a useful list.

Meanwhile, Ross points to a number of potentially-serious font issues. For example, Office 2011 installer removes some Apple duplicate fonts and moves them to Fonts Disabled folder. But it doesn't remove all the dups. There are also duplicate fonts in the Library/Fonts/Microsoft folder.

Ross offers a process for dealing with the duplicate fonts. And then afterwards, she suggests that users should clear the font caches. Ross and I both recommend Jake Pietrykowski's FontNuke utility for this task.

Meanwhile, Apple killed Sync Services in Mavericks, which many third-party calendar apps have been dealing with. Ross offers some advice for Outlook users:

Sync Services is no longer supported in Mavericks. Syncing with an iPhone via iTunes is not supported on Mavericks. This has a big effect on Outlook users that want to sync to their iPhones and iPad with Apple Calendar and Address Book.

Outlook 2011 does not support CalDAV or CardDAV. These protocols are required to sync to iCloud, Google, Yahoo etc. I doubt we will see CalDAV & CardDAV added to Outlook 2011 since it’s already 3 years old. Hopefully a new version is in the works and we’ll see then if Microsoft decides to add support or stick with Exchange only for sync options.

Your only option to continue using Outlook and sync your data to your iPhone and iPad would be to use Exchange. Microsoft now offers Exchange online for $4/month. Otherwise, you can move to Apple Mail and use Calendar and Contacts to sync via iCloud or manually enter data in both Outlook and Apple contacts and calendar.

If sync using CalDAV and CardDAV is a feature that you consider useful, be sure to let Microsoft know by sending them feedback. The more reports they get the higher it gets on the list.

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems

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    does that work?

    I don't have an iPhone, but I do have Exchange at work, so the problem doesn't affect me. But would a free account work with the iPhone to enable the syncing, instead of a hosted Exchange account which costs money?

    I use the account to sync my Android phone with my Windows machines. The work iMac just has the company Exchange account.

    I ran the font validation. This doesn't seem to be a problem specific to Mavericks. Office was installed under Lion and the machine has been upgraded through Mountain Lion to Mavericks. My system is showing 46 duplicate fonts - and Bauhaus 93 has a warning about kerning.

    Looking at the names, I think some of the additional fonts came from Adobe CS.

    I've not seen any problems with Office 2011 (hastily touches wood) - I'm using the German version.
  • Apple trying to steer

    I think Apple is working to steer users back into their ecosystem. Its just more of the same for Apple and Microsoft. I never thought Office was that great on a Mac. At the same token nothing Apple has ported to a PC is worth anything either. If you love your Mac but want Windows programs. Do some sort of duel boot or VM for Windows.
  • No issues Here

    But I'm running English Office and Mavericks. Even with heavily "formatted" docs from work.

    I've also started transitioning to iWork as my personal stuff is not that complicated and the seamless syncing with iCloud and my iPad/iPhone/Mac is awesome.