Microsoft Office 2016

Changing the Name and Initials

If you deployed Office 2016 with a volume license, chances are your user will complain that the name used for reviews (or Auto-Track changes) is “Microsoft Office User” with initials “MO” (or any localized variation).

It is stored here : ~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/MeContact.plist

$ defaults read "/Users/fti/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/MeContact.plist"
    Initials = FTI;
    Name = "Francois Levaux-Tiffreau";

How to script it

A simple script that sets both the Office 2016 Name and Initials values in the MeContact.plist for the currently logged in user.


export PATH

FullScriptName=$(basename "$0") # Variable used to store the file name of this script

DsclSearchPath="/Local/Default" # Variable used to store the search path used by the dscl command.

# Get the username of the person currently running the script.
username=$(id -un)

echo "$FullScriptName -- Personalizing Office 2016 for $username"

# Lookup the user's name from the local directory
firstname=$(dscl "$DsclSearchPath" -read /Users/$username RealName | tr -d '\n' | awk '{print $2}')
lastname=$(dscl "$DsclSearchPath" -read /Users/$username RealName | tr -d '\n' | awk '{print $3}')

# Get the first letter for the initial

# Get the first letter for the initial

# Concatenate the initials together into one variable.
UserInitials="$(echo $firstInitial$lastInitial)"

# Concatenate the full name together into one variable.
UserFullName="$(echo $firstname $lastname)"

# Remove any leading or trailing whitepace
UserFullName="$(echo -e "${UserFullName}" | sed -e 's/^[[:space:]]//' -e 's/[[:space:]]$//')"
UserInitials="$(echo -e "${UserInitials}" | sed -e 's/^[[:space:]]//' -e 's/[[:space:]]$//')"

defaults write "/Users/$username/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/MeContact.plist" Name "$UserFullName"

defaults write "/Users/$username/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/MeContact.plist" Initials "$UserInitials"

echo "$FullScriptName -- Completed personalizing Office 2016 for $username"

# Quit the script without errors.
exit 0

Deploying Office Templates

It’s technically possible to deploy your templates in ~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content.localized/Templates.localized, but unfortunately this container won’t exist until the user launches an Office application. There’s a better way.

Simply drop your templates in /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Templates.localized to get them avaiable for all users at any time. They will be available to the user in File > New from Template…. You can also create subfolders (won’t change display). As they’re directly referenced, any change to this folder will be reflected in Office (they’re not copied).

How to script it

You can either create a package to deploy the templates at the right place, or use this script to create the directories:

# This script checks for and creates if needed the directories for Office 2016 templates for Word, PowerPoint and Excel
# Made by Rich-the-Great

function test_command {
    local status=$?
    /bin/echo -n "Executing '$@'… "
    if [ $status -ne 0 ]; then
        echo "ERROR: $@" >&2
        exit $status
    echo "OK"


if [[ ! -d "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Templates.localized" ]]; then
   /bin/echo "Necessary support directories for Office 2016 templates not found."
   /bin/echo "Creating necessary support directories for Office 2016 templates."

   test_command /bin/mkdir -p "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Templates.localized"

   # We don't use -R to make sure we don't step on anybody's shoe
   # On a fresh 15.19.1 install, perms are root:wheel 755
   test_command /usr/sbin/chown root:wheel "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365"
   test_command /usr/sbin/chown root:wheel "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized"
   test_command /usr/sbin/chown root:wheel "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Templates.localized"
   test_command /bin/chmod 755 "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365"
   test_command /bin/chmod 755 "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized"
   test_command /bin/chmod 755 "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Templates.localized"