Use the OCT to customize Office 2013


Applies to: Office 2013

Summary Explains how to use the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to customize Windows Installer-based Office 2013 installations.

Audience: IT Professionals

The Office Customization Tool is part of the Setup program and is the primary tool for customizing a Windows Installer-based Office 2013 (MSI) installation. The OCT is available only with volume licensed versions of Windows Installer-based Office 2013, Office 2010, and the 2007 Office system. The OCT saves customizations in a Setup customization (.msp) file, which is applied at either Setup time or during a maintenance mode operation. You can use the OCT to alter the way that Setup performs an installation and to configure Office applications that are on a user's computer. Use the OCT to configure the installation for users after you create a network installation point, but before you install Office 2013.

Administrators use the OCT to customize the following areas:

  • Setup Use this section to specify default installation location and default organization name, additional network installation sources, the product key, end-user license agreement, display level, earlier versions of Office to remove, custom programs to run during installation, security settings, and Setup properties.

  • Features Use this section to configure user settings and to customize how Office features are installed.

  • Additional content Use this section to add or remove files, add or remove registry entries, and configure shortcuts.

  • Outlook Use this section to customize a user's default Outlook profile, specify Exchange settings, add accounts, remove accounts and export settings, and specify Send\Receive groups.

In Office 2013, two architecture-specific versions of the Office Customization Tool (OCT) are available: one for 32-bit Office 2013 and one for 64-bit Office 2013. The 64-bit version of the OCT supports 64-bit client editions of Office 2013, and provides the same user interface, capabilities, and configurable settings as the 32-bit version. You use the same command to run the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the OCT. For more information about 64-bit Office 2013, see 64-bit editions of Office 2013.


Office 2013 doesn't support side-by-side installations of 64-bit and 32-bit Office or Office applications. For example, there is no support for side-by-side installations of the 2007 Office system 32-bit along with Office 2013 64-bit, or for Access 2013 64-bit along with Excel 2013 32-bit.
You can't use the Office 2013 customization tools to configure side-by-side installations or customizations of 64-bit and 32-bit Office. For example, you can't create a custom side-by-side installation that uses 64-bit Office Professional Plus 2013 and 32-bit Visio 2013 single image.

Administrators can also use the Config.xml file, which runs during Setup, to specify options for Windows Installer-based Office 2013 (and Office 2010 and Office 2007) installations. You can use the Config.xml file to configure many of the same options that you configure by using the OCT, and some additional options that aren't available in the OCT. The Config.xml file that is stored in the core product folders (core_product_folder_name.WW folder, such as ProPlus.WW for Office Professional Plus 2013) directs Setup to install that product. If the network installation point contains multiple Office 2013 products, you can use the /config command-line option when you run Setup.exe to specify the path of the Office 2013 product that you want to install. If you do this, Setup won't prompt you about which product to install.

For more information about Setup commands, see Setup command-line options reference for Office 2013.

The following customizations can only be made by using the Config.xml file:

  • Specifying the path of the network installation point.

  • Selecting which product to install.

  • Customizing Setup options such as logging and the location of the Setup customization file and software updates.

  • Setting installation options such as user and company name.

  • Copying the local installation source (LIS) to the user's computer without installing Office.

  • Adding or removing languages from the installation.


If you use both an OCT Setup customization (.msp) file and the Config.xml to customize the installation, the settings that you specify in Config.xml take precedence over those in the Setup customization file. The Config.xml file reference for Office 2013 article provides detailed information about the installation options and indicates whether a setting has a corresponding OCT setting.

We recommend that you read the Plan volume activation of Office 2013 andVolume activation of Office 2013 articles before you customize Setup.

In this article:

  • Create a network installation point

  • Customize Office

Create a network installation point

The first steps in a typical corporate deployment are to create, replicate, and secure a network installation point. To create a network installation point, copy all source files from the Office 2013 installation media to a shared location on the network. Also copy any language packs that you want to deploy. Users can run Setup from the network installation point, or you can use the network installation point as a starting place to distribute Office 2013 by using a software deployment tool, such as Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. You can also use it to create a hard-disk image or a custom DVD.

Make sure that access to Office 2013 source files is read-only. The Setup.xml and Package.xml files, such as ProPlusWW.xml for Office Professional 2013, are digitally signed and can't be changed.

For more information about the network installation point, see Create a network installation point in Customize Setup before installing Office 2013.


You can complete tasks in all Office 2013 suites by using a mouse, keyboard shortcuts, or touch. For information about how to use keyboard shortcuts and touch with Office products and services, see Keyboard shortcuts and Office Touch Guide.

To create a network installation point

  1. Copy all the files and folders from the Office 2013 DVD to a folder on the network or on your computer. For example, copy the files to \\server\share\Office15.

  2. Copy all the language packs and additional Office products that you want to deploy to the same network installation point.

  3. When you are prompted to overwrite duplicate Setup files, choose No.

Customize Office


As noted earlier, there are two versions of the OCT, one for 32-bit and one for 64-bit Office 2013. To run the 32-bit OCT, run the setup.exe /admin command line from the x86 (32-bit) folder, as shown in the following example:
\server\share\Office15\x86\setup.exe /admin
To run the 64-bit OCT, run the setup.exe /admin command line from the x64 (64-bit) folder, as shown in the following example:
\server\share\Office15\x64\setup.exe /admin

To customize Office by using the OCT

  1. From the root of the network installation point, run the following command line to start the Office Customization Tool: \\server\share\setup.exe /admin.

  2. In the Select Product dialog box, choose a single product that you want to customize, and then choose OK.

  3. In the navigation pane, select an area of customization and customize the options available in the details pane. For example, to configure Setup to run quietly, choose Licensing and user interface in the navigation pane, and then select None for Display level in the details pane.

  4. When you finish making your customizations, select Save As in the File menu.

  5. Specify a unique name for the file and save the file in the Updates folder of the network installation point.

  6. Choose Save on the File menu.

When you run Setup.exe from the network installation point, Setup looks in the Updates folder for Setup customization files for the product that you are installing. Setup then applies your customizations to the installation.

The following articles provide more information about how to customize specific aspects of the installation:

For complete information about the OCT, see Office Customization Tool (OCT) reference for Office 2013.

See also

Overview of Setup architecture for Office 2013
KMS activation of Office 2013
Configure a silent installation of Office 2013
Create custom configurations of Office 2013
Use Office Customization Tool (OCT) to change users' configurations after installing Office 2013
Group Policy Administrative Template files (ADMX, ADML) and Office Customization Tool (OCT) files for Office 2013

Download: Office 2013 Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool