Highlights of the new features available in OffCAT v2

Summary

The Microsoft Office Configuration Analyzer Tool team began working on a new version of OffCAT shortly after the most recently available version (1.2.0.2) was released. As this next version of OffCAT has just been released, we are excited to introduce some of the new features and functionality that are included in OffCAT v2. If you have not yet downloaded OffCAT, please use the following link:

OffCAT download

Please see the "More Information" section of this article for details on the new features in OffCAT v2.

More Information

In OffCAT v2 there are many new features that we think will improve your OffCAT experience, give you access to richer diagnostic information, and help you resolve Office issues much more quickly. Here's a summary of these new features.

  • New and improved application interface

    If you have used earlier versions of OffCAT, the OffCAT v2 program interface will look like a very different program. Although the core Office program-scanning functionality remains essentially the same, the user interface (UI) went through a total redesign to simplify and enhance the user experience. The following figure shows the NEW SCAN page, where you select the Office program (or programs) to be scanned and where you also start your scan.



    Notice the inclusion of OneDrive for Business in the list of available programs to scan.

  • Scan report improvements

    After your Office program scan complete, the report that's displayed in OffCAT v2 makes issues more easily discovered and understood. The changes were also designed to help you find solutions more quickly.

    The reading pane, located on the right side of the report, was added so that anyone who uses Microsoft Outlook as their email client will already be familiar with the interface. To resolve any issue, select it in the list on the left, review the details under Issue Description and Solution, and then click the link at the bottom of the reading pane.



    Also, notice the addition of the icon just to the right of the "Scan type" line. Rest the pointer over this icon to see the current update status for the scanned program.



    This program update status information is included in the issues list, but the icon was added to make this information more quickly accessible. When you view the screen shot for the next item, you'll see that this same information is displayed in the third control on the OFFCAT ribbon.
  • OffCAT add-in and ribbon

    To provide you immediate access to OffCAT functionality and earlier scan information, OffCAT v2 installs a new COM add-in for all Office programs that support the ribbon interface. The following screen shot shows the new OFFCAT ribbon as it appears in Outlook:



    Notice that you can perform the following tasks directly from the ribbon, meaning that you don't have to leave the Office program:
    • Scan the program with OffCAT
    • Determine the update status of the Office program
    • Output a configuration summary that includes Windows, user, hardware, and Office information
    • Access solutions for recent known errors and crashes that are detected in the Office program
    • Access articles about the most frequently read How To topics
    • Search for How To topics that aren't found on the "Top" How To list

  • Contextual help for Office 365 users

    If you're using Office 365 for your email, the OFFCAT ribbon in Outlook provides a How To list that's geared toward the most requested issues by Office 365 users. The following screen shot shows how OFFCAT is updated automatically for Office 365 users. 



    The list of articles that are available through this control will be updated periodically through an OffCAT rule file update. These updates will reflect requests by Office 365 customers.
  • Real-time error and crash detection

    Real-time error and crash detection is a feature that will help you resolve known issues more quickly. This feature runs whenever you start or use an Office program. This feature scans errors that are displayed by Office programs and any crash events, and it quickly compares them against a list of known errors and crashes. If there's a match, a warning is displayed in the form of a notification alert. And all of this happens in real-time when the OffCAT application isn’t even running.

    The following screen shot shows a known error that's detected by this feature and the alert that's displayed in the notification area. Clicking the alert opens the article that contains the resolution for this error. The crash detection feature works in essentially the same way.



  • New advanced tools

    In Outlook, the new OFFCAT ribbon also includes the Specialized logging control.



    This real-time logging feature provides access to user-friendly (color-coded) logging information for several common scenarios where advanced logging can help resolve an issue. The following screen shot shows sample output for the "Junk Mail Decision Process" scenario:



  • Enhanced Calendar issue reporting

    The Calendar Checking Tool (CalCheck) has been a part of OffCAT since the first OffCAT release. However, the results from CalCheck have not always been easily consumable in the scan report. Therefore, in OffCAT v2, the CalCheck results are now displayed in a report that's separate from your overall Outlook results. The CalCheck report layout is nearly identical to that of your Outlook scan report, which simplifies the transition between the two reports.



  • Improved scan management

    If you generate lots of scans, or if you import and view scans from other users' computers, we think the new layout and features on the MANAGE SCANS page will make your life a little easier. Take note of the following improvements:
    • Simplified color-coding of the different program scans
    • Office install type (MSI or ClickToRun) has been added to the first column
    • Full or Offline scan has been added to the first column for Outlook scans
    • Sorting by Date or Application
    • Filtering by Office program and/or Office version
    • Icon with tooltip (last column) that indicates the number of detected issues




    Then, when you select any scan in the list, you receive additional details about the scan. You'll also get a toolbar with controls that offer the most commonly used features for OffCAT scans.



  • OffCAT is always up-to-date

    The same process that searches for known errors and crashes in Office programs is responsible for making sure that you're using the very latest detection rule files and application files. This process checks for OffCAT updates that are posted to the Internet, and it automatically downloads them for OffCAT to use during the next scan.

    You can also manually check to see whether OffCAT updates are available, start OffCAT, or view recent scans by using the new OffCAT icon in the notification area.



  • New file format

    The default file-name extension that's created by a scan in OffCAT v2 is .offx. This new extension is associated with OffCAT.exe during the installation of OffCAT v2 so that you can just double-click any .offx file to open it in OffCAT.



    You can still import scans through OffCAT, but this new functionality reduces the time that's required to import and view scan results from a file that you receive from someone else, for example.

Remember to install the .NET Framework 4.5 or later before you install OffCAT v2. This will make sure that you experience the quickest installation of OffCAT v2 after it has been made available. For more information, see Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) v2 system requirements.

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ID d'article : 3051131 - Dernière mise à jour : 9 avr. 2015 - Révision : 1

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