Microsoft released Office 2007 Service Pack 2 today. There are some important fixes and performance improvements for every Office 2007 user. You should install it. You don’t have to jump to do it immediately – it will be installed through the Automatic Updates system in about three months – but download and install it manually if you have some free time.

Some notes about the installation process:

  • This is for Office 2007. If you have Office 2003, this doesn’t apply. Office 2007 is the version where the programs got the new ribbon bars:


  • It’s a big download and might take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to install after you download it.
  • Outlook will probably start extremely slowly the first time it is run after the service pack is installed. This is a one-time upgrade to the data files that may take from several minutes to two hours, depending on how large your .PST/.OST files are. Don’t install the service pack if you don’t have time! The Outlook team recommends installing the service pack at the end of the day; restart the computer when it’s done, then open Outlook and walk away. It will be ready in the morning.

There are many fixes but most of them are invisible – the programs will just be more stable and more features will work as advertised. One change, though, stands out: after installing the service pack all Office programs will have the built-in ability to save files in PDF format, even if Acrobat is not installed.


The service pack delivers a major overhaul to Outlook 2007, improving performance in large and small ways. Outlook users have the most to gain from the service pack. According to the Outlook team:

Significant improvements were also made in the areas of launching, synchronizing and reliably searching with Outlook 2007. Users with small to average size mailboxes will see a 26% performance increase and users with large mailboxes will see a 35% performance increase in the following areas:

  • Faster startup and more reliable shutdown
  • Faster folder switching between folders with a large number of messages
  • Better overall responsiveness when performing common tasks

Among other things, the service pack is supposed to greatly reduce the number of times that you will see this common error message when you start Outlook: “The data file ‘file name‘ was not closed properly. This file is being checked for problems.” Sound familiar?

Microsoft has a complete description of the Outlook fixes here, and a more technical presentation of all the fixes in Service Pack 2 here. Let me know if you want some help!

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