On March 8th, we released the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) to the Microsoft Download Center, replacing Outlook Configuration Analyzer (OCAT), the original diagnostic tool for Microsoft Outlook. OffCAT was developed by the same team that put together OCAT, so it should be seen as the next generation diagnostics tool for Microsoft Office. There are many new features in OffCAT, but the biggest difference between the two tools is the ability to scan more Office programs than just Outlook. With OffCAT v1, you can scan Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word.
OffCAT uses the same BPA framework as OCAT, so if you've used OCAT, you'll feel right at home with OffCAT.
Figure 1: Microsoft Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) 1.0
Before you install OffCAT, make sure that your computer meets the following OffCAT system requirements:
When you install OffCAT using the OffCAT.msi file from the Download Center, OCAT is automatically uninstalled if it is currently installed on your computer.
If you put OffCAT onto your computer by extracting the files in OffCAT.zip from the Microsoft Download center, you will receive a prompt to uninstall OCAT (if installed) any time you launch OffCAT.
Figure 2: OffCAT setup detects if OCAT is already installed and offers to uninstall it.
OffCAT is the replacement tool for OCAT. All detection rules originally found in OCAT are included in OffCAT. Because all new rules for Outlook will only be integrated into OffCAT, you should now use OffCAT instead of OCAT. And, even though OCAT is uninstalled by the OffCAT installation, you can still view all of your previous OCAT scans in OffCAT. If the OCAT scans do not appear in OffCAT, just import them into OffCAT.
OffCAT includes a user guide, available as part of the OffCAT download. You can also download the OffCAT user's guide (Word DOC) from the Download Center. We highly recommended that you read this document before installing and using OffCAT.
The following sections provide an overview of OffCAT. All this information (and much more!) in OffCAT documentation.
To generate an OffCAT report, simply click Start a scan in the left (navigation) panel.
From the list of detected Office programs, select the Office program to scan.
Figure 3: Select an Office application to scan
If you have more than one version of Office installed, also select the version of the Office program you want scanned.
If you are going to scan Outlook, it should be running before you start an OffCAT scan. If you cannot keep Outlook running long enough to start a scan, you can still perform a basic scan. To do this, in the Task drop-down list, select Offline Scan, and then click Start scanning.
Figure 4: Starting an Offline Scan of Microsoft Outlook
The report that an offline scan generates contains only information that is available on your computer, such as registry data, Application log details, a list of installed updates, and local file details.
Although an offline scan of Outlook does not contain as many profile details as an online scan, an offline scan may still provide enough information to help you resolve any problems that you are experiencing with Outlook.
In most cases, the OffCAT report can provide lots of information about the configuration of the Office program that was scanned. It'll also show you known problems in your configuration, along with links to relevant Knowledge Base and TechNet articles.
OffCAT offers the following two report views:
List Reports: The List Reports view is the default presentation of your scan data. There are up to three tabs that are available to view different snapshots of this data.
Figure 5: The default List Reports view
Figure 6: The Tree Reports view
You can also use OffCAT to view a report created on another computer.
Figure 7: Viewing previous reports and reports created on another compuer
We welcome your feedback and suggestions! You can send us feedback by clicking the Tell Microsoft what you think about OffCAT link in the left panel. It creates a new email message addressed to OffCATsupp@microsoft.com.
We are currently working on an updated version of OffCAT that adds new functionality, including the ability to scan the rest of the Office programs (Publisher, Visio, OneNote, InfoPath, and possibly Lync and Project). Please follow the OffCAT team on Twitter to receive news of any publicly available OffCAT updates and find out when this next version of OffCAT is released.