Frequently asked questions about the Office Startup Assistant in the 2007 Office suites and in Office 2003

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For a Microsoft Office XP version of this article, see 290144.
This article answers some of the frequently asked questions about the Office Startup Assistant (Osa.exe) in the 2007 Microsoft Office suites and in Microsoft Office 2003.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Osa.exe file?

The Office Startup Assistant (Osa.exe or OSA) is a program that improves the performance of Office programs. Office Setup no longer puts a shortcut to the Osa.exe file in the Windows Startup folder as do the earlier versions of Microsoft Office.

What does the Osa.exe file do?

The Osa.exe file does the following:
  • Initializes automation.
  • Initializes some of the common fonts installed by Office.
  • Handles certain commands (New Office Document, Open Office Document, Help, and Screen Saver) on the All Programs menu (click Start).
  • Displays Microsoft Outlook notifications when the Office Assistant is available.
What are the advantages of running the Osa.exe file?

The Osa.exe file initializes the shared code that is used by the Office programs. When you use the Osa.exe file to initialize shared code, the Office programs start faster. If the Office programs, instead of Osa.exe, initialize the shared code, the programs take longer to start.

To run the Osa.exe file when you start Microsoft Windows, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all Windows programs.
  2. Right-click Start, and then click Explore.
  3. In Microsoft Windows Explorer, open the following folder:

    For Microsoft Office 2003:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11
    For 2007 Microsoft Office:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
  4. Right-click and drag the Osa.exe file to the following folder:
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  5. Click Create Shortcut Here.

Additional Information

You can use the following command-line switches with the Osa.exe file.

-fThis switch opens the Open Office Document dialog box at startup.
-nThis switch opens the New Office Document dialog box at startup.
-sThis switch starts the specified screen saver at startup. If there is no screen saver that is selected under Display in Control Panel, you receive a message that states this.

Article ID: 826318 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 04:06:49 - Revision: 2.2

Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Basic 2007, Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Office Professional 2007, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, Microsoft Office Standard 2007, Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007

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