OFF: Getting Support for Microsoft Office Solutions

This article was previously published under Q234322
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IMPORTANT: This article applies to all earlier versions of Microsoft Office, including all individual programs that offer developer-related features.
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What Products Are Eligible for Developer Support?

The following Office programs are eligible for Microsoft Office Developer Support: Microsoft Access, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft FrontPage, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Office Developer.

Other programs that are included with various editions of Office are not eligible because they do not contain object models, or are not designed to be customized or programmed as part of a solution.

Suggested Resources to Check Before Contacting Support

Microsoft Knowledge Base
Microsoft MSDN Office Web Site
Microsoft Developer Network
Microsoft Communities and Public Internet newsgroups

What Is a Developer Support Incident?

An incident is defined as a single support issue and the commercially reasonable effort needed to resolve it. A single support issue is a problem that cannot be broken down into subordinate problems. If a problem consists of subordinate problems, each shall be considered a separate incident. Before Microsoft provides support for an incident, you and the Microsoft designated Support Professional must agree on what the problem is and the parameters for an acceptable solution. An incident may require multiple phone calls and off-line research to resolve it. A Microsoft product bug is not considered a fee-based incident.

Problems should be broken down to the smallest scope possible. Because developers are most familiar with solutions they created, you are in the best position to quickly narrow down the scope of a problem. This will typically reduce the total time needed to resolve issues.

If a Support Professional needs to view the code that you are using, try to make the code as short as possible while still reproducing the problem that you are having. The code should be able to be run independently of the solution that you are creating.

For larger development projects, Support Professionals only provide sample code that is relevant to the support incident. It is your responsibility to integrate the code sample into your solution. The Support Professional cannot help you design your solution or business rules, or provide code that you can use directly in your solution.

Microsoft Personal Support

Personal Support provides support for installing, deploying, configuring, and using an Office program. Personal Support Professionals can provide assistance with explaining how to record macros and how to access the developer-related features. They can also suggest appropriate resources for you to get started. However, Microsoft Support Professionals that provide Personal support are not trained in developer technologies. If you have a specific question that is related to your custom solution, you can either consult the resources that are mentioned earlier in this article, or you can submit a Professional Support incident to obtain support from Microsoft.

Microsoft Professional Support

Professional Support assists Office customers and solution developers in creating solutions that involve an Office product, within the guidelines specified below. Although Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) can assist you with a wide variety of potential issues, PSS cannot provide ongoing training or perform a consulting role to assist you in creating your solution. As a developer, try to narrow down a problem to the smallest possible scope; this enables a Support Professional to help you in the most efficient manner.

NOTE: If you are not a developer and want to have a solution created for you, Microsoft generally recommends that you contact an independent solution provider. A solution provider can provide ongoing assistance and support for a solution that is suited to your needs.

What Support Is Provided by Professional Support?

  • Recording of macros (where applicable) within the various Office programs.
  • Programming with an Office program's object model from within that same program.
  • Automating an Office program from other programming environments that support automation. This includes, but is not limited to, other Microsoft programs such as, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, Microsoft Visual C++, Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual J++, Microsoft VBScript, Microsoft WordBasic, and any other third-party products or components. Office Developer Support provides assistance with the various Office object models.
  • The use of ActiveX controls (*.ocx) within Office-based forms or other control containers. Controls that are installed by Office or Office Developer are fully supported.

    NOTE: If you are having a problem with a custom or third-party control on an Office-based form, try to use the control on a Visual Basic form or other container. Often, issues related to controls occur in various control containers and this indicates an issue with the control, not Office. Office Developer Support can only assist you if the problem is specific to using the control on an Office-based form.
  • Using the Office Visual Basic Editor, the Script Editor, the Script Debugger, and other developer-related tools that are included with Office and Office Developer.
  • Questions related to deploying Office solutions using technologies included with Office and Office Developer, such as the Package and Deployment Wizard.
  • Accounting for and documenting bugs in Office programs.
  • Data Access Pages in Access. Support provided will be specific to the Office object models and DHTML object models.
  • Office-related programming involving XML, HTML, DHTML, VB Script, and JScript. Office Developer Support supports these languages and the controls available within the Script Editor and the Visual Basic Editor. Code samples provided in these languages are specific to an Office program object model.
  • HTML tags when used with FrontPage. Support for HTML is limited to assistance with inserting HTML, modifying existing HTML, and the correct syntax of HTML tags within the following guidelines:
    • HTML tags supported and explained must be part of the current W3C Recommendation on HTML, which can be found at Creating or troubleshooting tags which are at the "Proposed Recommendation" or "Working Draft" stage is not supported.
    • Guidance in determining which browser-specific tags are supported by the most current browsers that are available to the general public.

      NOTE: These guidelines for HTML also apply to Cascading Style Sheets, as defined at

What Support Is Not Provided by Professional Support?

  • The object models of third-party products.
  • Questions specific to the use of non-Office programming environments.
  • Modifying in any way the HTML, XML, or DHTML in files that have been saved by an Office program (excluding FrontPage). After the HTML file is modified by another program, such as a text editor or FrontPage 2000, it is no longer in the native file format of an Office 2000 program and cannot be supported by Office Support or Office Developer Support.
  • Editing or in any way modifying .htt files. These files are critical to the operation of Microsoft Windows when using Active Desktop.
  • Writing code that adds functionality to your existing solution. This level of service is provided by Microsoft Advisory Services.
  • Actively debugging your solution. Instead, Support Professionals can offer advice on how you can use debugging tools and methods. If you need direct assistance with debugging your solution, this level of service is provided by Microsoft Advisory Services.

Contact Information

To submit a Professional developer-related incident from the Web, browse to: If you want to speak to a Microsoft Support Professional, the number to call depends on the nature of your question. If your question is specific to technologies that are included with Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office Developer, call one of the following phone numbers, depending on the appropriate program:
  (425) 635-7050  Microsoft Access  (425) 462-9673  Microsoft Word  (425) 635-7070  Microsoft Excel  (425) 635-7088  Microsoft FrontPage  (425) 635-7145  Microsoft PowerPoint  (425) 635-7118  Microsoft Office Developer (for questions specific to                  features included only with Microsoft Office Developer)
If your question is beyond the scope of what is included with Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office Developer, or is about Microsoft Outlook or messaging technologies, call (800) 936-5800. This support includes, but is not limited to:
  • Automating Office programs by using Visual C++, where the issue is directly related to the C++ programming language or constructs.
  • Creating ActiveX controls for use in Office, where the issue is not directly related to Office.
  • Working with Microsoft Internet Information Server, Microsoft Site Server, or other server-based Web development projects.
  • Support for the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications SDK, which allows Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to license Visual Basic for Applications, for use within their own application.
  • Implementing custom FrontPage WebBots or editing the HTML within a FrontPage WebBot.

Premier Support

If you have a Microsoft Premier Support contract, you can submit an incident as you typically would for any incident.

Advisory Services

Microsoft Advisory Services is a hourly fee-based, consultative support option that provides proactive support beyond your break-fix product maintenance needs. For information on Microsoft Advisory Services, refer to this Microsoft Web site:
OutSol OutSol98 OutSol2000 OutSol2002 OFF2000 VBA VB MSE VBE support boundaries

Article ID: 234322 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 14:50:25 - Revision: 6.0

Microsoft Office XP Developer Edition, Microsoft Office 2000 Developer Edition, Microsoft Office 97 Standard Edition, Microsoft Office 95 Standard Edition

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