Configuration Analyzer Tool – OffCAT – Ver 2.2

The Microsoft Exchange team provide many very useful free tools to help System Administrators keep their Microsoft Exchange messaging systems healthy. One is the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool, or OffCAT as it is known. This began as the Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool (OCAT) and was designed to help troubleshoot Windows Outlook client issues with Exchange servers. Over time it has grown to include analysis of other Office applications. Version 2.2, which was recently released, can now help troubleshoot issues with the following Office applications on Windows clients:

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Skype for Business
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft InfoPath
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Visio

Full details of the features in the OffCAT tool are contained in the Release 2.2 ReadMe file. Some of the notable additions in this latest release are summarized below.

OffCAT scans your Microsoft Office installs and reports on known Windows registry configuration issues that are codified in the Knowledge Base articles for Office applications. The new release has an option to get OffCAT to fix any issues found in the registry using the recommended best practice settings from the Knowledge Base articles. Think of OffCAT is your own personal Office Knowledge Base expert. Another new addition is the inclusion of the Robust Office Inventory Scan (ROIScan) tool into the advanced tools section. ROIScan has existed as a very popular and useful VBScript in the TechNet library for a while. Incorporating it into OffCAT will make it available to more administrators in a supported environment. Easier access to log files and scan results is also a new feature in the latest release. This makes it easier to use the comprehensive information that is returned about Office installations, and any issues that might be identified.

OffCAT is a great tool to use when you have Windows clients that are having issues with Microsoft Outlook, or any of the other Office applications that it currently scans and analyses. It is great if you have a user who is having issue that you can’t pinpoint. OffCAT will often flag up an issue deep in the Office configuration files that would normally be very difficult to find. Many administrators also use OffCAT to scan and analyze Office installs periodically as part of general Windows client maintenance. It will flag up known configuration issues that can be fixed before they cause issue for users.