Few registry tweaks for Office 2013 Customer Preview

Microsoft Office 2013 Consumer Preview was released this week and now it is available to download for free.

Even I was a bit skeptical when the new version was presented during live press event, after trying it myself I can say I really like it. The interface looks nice (I would love to try it on a touch screen), cloud integration with SkyDrive is great and I bet some of the new features added to this version (like automatic text-to-columns function in Excel) will definitely come in handy. Anyhow, this post is not a review of the new version of Office. This time I would like to share some registry tweaks that might come in handy if you are planning to use or already using the Customer Preview version of Office 2013.

Disable template chooser screen

If you already tried Office 2013, you have probably noticed that a template chooser screen is opened by default when launching an Office application:

Personally, I find this feature really annoying. I have used other than blank Word/Excel template only very few times. 99% of the times I am launching Word, I am either starting with a completely blank document or opening the existing one. So, I do not really need the template selection screen before I can start. Luckily, this screen can be disabled using this registry modification:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\General
Value: DisableBootToOfficeStart
Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 1

The value created above disables the template screen on all applications of Office 2013. If you find the screen useful on some specific application, such as, for example, PowerPoint, you can override the setting for that specific application creating the following value:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\PowerPoint\Options
Value: DisableBootToOfficeStart
Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 0

Instead of “PowerPoint” key you can use “Excel”, “Word”, “Access” or any other name of Office application you want to enable/disable the template chooser screen for.

Disable feedback buttons

As you can see in the screenshot below, Office 2013 applications include the extra button – yellow smiley face – which is designed to allow users to provide their feedback to Microsoft.

If you find this button annoying, you can completely disable it by applying the following registry modification:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Feedback
Value: Enabled
Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 0

Once the above registry modification is made and your Office application is relaunched, the yellow smiley face will be gone.

If you are using Office 2013 actively and you find any issues you really think should be fixed in the final release of the application, I would suggest you to enable the button back (you can do that by setting “Enabled” value data to “1”) and use the feedback tool to be sure that Microsoft is informed about the issue you are facing.

Disable inline replying (Outlook 2013)

One of the new features of Outlook 2013 is inline replying. Basically, when you click “Reply“, “Reply All” or “Forward” button in the new Outlook, instead of opening a new window to write your email into, it makes the reading pane containing message body editable so you can start typing your reply just in place.

Personally, I really love this feature. The less opened windows you have, the smaller the mess in your taskbar is. Being able to do everything in a single window might be especially convenient when using touch screen. Anyhow, if for some strange reason you do not like inline compose mode, you can disable it with this registry tweak:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Message
Value: DisableReadingPaneCompose
Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 1

Once the modification is applied and Outlook is restarted, reply function behavior will revert to the one in previous versions of Office – a new reply window will be opened when Reply/Forward buttons are clicked.

Disable trial notification

If you open File -> Account window in any Office 2013 application, you will see notification that the product you are using is unlicensed and requires activation:

If you do not have an activation key (you can actually get one if you have MSDN or TechNet subscription) and you would like to hide that trial notification, you can actually do that with the following registry modification:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Registration\{87D2B5BF-D47B-41FB-AF62-71C382F5CC85}
Value: HideTrial
Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 1

Actually, “Data” might have any data since Office only checks if that value is presented. Also, the numbers (GUID) in the key name might be different on your system if you are using not Professional Plus version of Office 2013 Preview. For Home Premium version they GUID should be {3252DC27-6CF2-4B0C-B355-B50DAA51F761}.

Once the modification is applied, the screen will look like that (it looks exactly the same as the one of activated Office 2013):

The change described above does NOT change license of your Office 2013 and does not make it legal for unlimited usage. All it does is hiding the notification showed in the screenshot above.

Be ware that all of the registry modifications listed above (except for the one to hide trial notification) are applied only for a current user and they will not be effective on other users using the suite.

Also, make sure to do backups (right click on a registry key and selecting “Export” does the job) before making any registry modifications.

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14 comments on the post

  1. Thanks for the tips! I especially appreciate the one on how to remove the smiley. It was really annoying and “into the face”. Now it looks much cleaner :)

  2. Hi! Thanks. they are really helpful. Would you help us as well as to how to disable activation wizard? Thanks!

  3. Is there any way to disable the “Sign In” found everywhere? Cloud storage will not be at our office and we will not permit users to log into their MSN accounts

  4. There is a feature of Outlook 2013 that I have found very annoying. I do not know if this is the same for a POP mail account but in an Exchange environment the header information of all emails contain a very large sized thumbnail of the senders picture. This makes the header take up about 1 inch even if the sender has not configured their picture in their profile. This is most irritating when using the reading pane configured below since you can’t see the body of the email at all unless the reading pane is well over an inch wide.

    I have been told that there is no way to control this. I would like to know does the user have any control of this? Is this something that can be controlled by the Exchange Admin? If so what control do they have and can they let the user control it?

    Seeing the header in the reading pane should be optional as the viewing pane displays most of the header information and the reading pane is intended for reviewing the content of an email.

    • You can hide sender pictures by creating the following REG_DWORD value and setting it to 0 (zero):

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Options\Mail\ShowContactPicture
      

      Anyhow, that doesn’t solve the issue you have – the sender header is still the same size. I really doubt it is possible to hide it.

  5. can you send reg. file to me by mail i cannot create it (a.elhoseny88@gmail.com)

    my windows is 64bit
    also office pro plus 64bit

    • Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Registration\{87D2B5BF-D47B-41FB-AF62-71C382F5CC85}
      Value: HideTrial
      Type: REG_DWORD
      Data: 1

  6. Is there anyway to change the author in registry?
    Some dude made a image with at static user account, so every document is created by this user.
    Would be nice to get a registry setting with %username%, to push with GPO.

  7. Thanks for excellent information.
    DisableReadingPaneCompose setting you have given for current user. Could below mentioned modified key would work for “All Users”?

    Key: HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Message
    Value: DisableReadingPaneCompose
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Data: 1

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