Today many users access their productivity applications using multiple methods.  This includes installed locally, published and/or streamed via XenApp (either as the mechanism to publish the app on XenApp or directly to the end point client).  So who is tired of re-creating their auto-signatures over and over?  One of the challenges is making sure your auto-signatures always follow you no matter how you launch Microsoft Outlook (as well as your other Office settings).

We also need to consider the other application settings like toolbar settings.  In Office 2007, changes to the toolbar are saved to a .qat file.  Microsoft has more details on these Office settings – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926805/en-us

The below paths are for WinXP and WS2003.  For Vista, use AppData\Roaming\… instead of Application Data\… AND use AppData\Local\… instead of Local Settings\Applications Data\…  Although keep in mind in most scenarios you do not want to ‘roam’ local settings hence the name.  You would add (or verify they already exist) the below files and folders (or just the parent folder to capture everything) to the User Profile Manager settings to have them tracked and managed.

Files

  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Access.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Excel.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Olkaddritem.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Olkapptitem.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Olkdistitem.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Olklogitem.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Olkmailitem.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Olkpostitem.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Olktaskitem.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\PowerPoint.qat
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Word.qat

Folders (Outlook)

  • Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    • There are a number of files here that control/track configurations such as auto-complete, send/receive settings and tools, utilities and other add-ins configurations/settings
  • Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures
    • These are all your signatures in various formats
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    • This folder (and all those in Local Settings) can be tricky since it stores offline folders (OST) and Personal Folders (PST files).  You may want your PST files to follow you but pending their size this can be an expensive file to roam.  And you can imagine the situations that will arise when two or more sessions are active simultaneously for these types of files – last write wins will definitely be a factor here and thus lost emails in the PST files.  For this reason Local Settings should probably not be roamed unless you are absolutely sure it is safe for a particular application.  Use file exclusion here as needed.

Folders (Office in general)

  • Application Data\Microsoft\Office
  • Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
    • These are your office template files such as normal.dot/.dotm for Word and blank.pot/.potx for PowerPoint etc.
    • Again be careful here when using multiple versions (e.g. Office 2003 and Office 2007) – mixing can result in unpredictable results.
  • Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office
    • Keep in mind in most scenarios you do not want to ‘roam’ local settings hence the name.  You would want to do this very selectively on a file by file basis.

I expect I covered the key areas for ensuring your Office settings follow your users.  Please let me know if there is anything missing or overlooked.