Troubleshooting MS Office for Mac on Mavericks

It appears that Mavericks and MS Office can play nicely together. However, problem areas include duplicate fonts and localized versions.
Written by David Morgenstern, Contributor

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. http://www.microsoft.com/mac/product-feedback

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