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... "Send personal information to Microsoft to make improvements to Office" in the Mac apps Preferences means no data is sent at all. ...
Graham: do you mean that when "Send personal information..." is unchecked the diagnostic data is not sent?

My understanding is that "Send personal information..." really means "Include personal information when sending diagnostic information."

FWIW: "Send personal information..." and "Send xxx diagnostic data .." are separated by a line in preference's Security and Privacy window.
 


Graham: do you mean that when "Send personal information..." is unchecked the diagnostic data is not sent?

My understanding is that "Send personal information..." really means "Include personal information when sending diagnostic information."

FWIW: "Send personal information..." and "Send xxx diagnostic data .." are separated by a line in preference's Security and Privacy window.
This is exactly my point - my understanding of the situation is the same as you. Microsoft do not make it clear.

"Send personal information..." and "Send xxx diagnostic data .." are separated by a line in Office for Mac Preference's Security & Privacy window. Also, regardless of whether you tick or untick the first option, the basic and full diagnostic data options are visible, not greyed out and selectable with radio buttons. User interface rules would therefore suggest they are separate things - but then, when has Microsoft ever followed interface/programming rules?

On iOS, in the Office for iOS app settings > Privacy > Help Us Improve section, these things are not separated and the wording includes "You can opt out anytime by turning this setting off", indicating that the two are linked and if you turn the main setting off, no data, including diagnostic data, will not be sent to Microsoft. Albeit, again, this is not totally clear.

Personally, I would like to hope that they linked in both the macOS and iOS apps, it's just bad wording/interface design, and that with the relevant main setting unticked/switched off, no data at all is sent back to Microsoft. But, in the meantime, until this is cleared up, the safest thing to do is set all diagnostic data settings to "basic" for all Office apps on macOS (all users/accounts) and on all iOS devices with the software installed.
 


My scripts are ... on my website at:
Sams_Scripts_To_Set_Office_Prefs ...
I found an unlikely edge-case issue when my script was launched in a way not listed in the ReadMe's instructions. The result was that Office's prefs had the wrong permissions, which made Office apps behave weirdly. If I unintentionally ran the script incorrectly while testing, it's safe to assume others may make the same mistake.

If you downloaded my scripts, please download them again. If you ran the script and had issues with any Office apps, download them and run them again.

I also changed the script to accept no parameters. This makes it even simpler to have a one-step fix for all users. Read the ReadMe for details.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This seems noteworthy:
John Leyden said:
Excel zero-day on macOS reloaded
Security researchers have renewed their warnings over a zero-day vulnerability impacting Microsoft Excel which may allow for the automatic and silent execution of embedded macros on macOS, in some scenarios.

The bug, which involves the processing of XLM macros (a legacy format) in SYmbolic LinK (Sylk) files, was originally discovered by Pieter Ceelen of Outflank, who went public with his findings after a presentation at the DerbyCon conference last year.

The security shortcoming was first demonstrated in Office 2011 for Mac.

Although the security flaw was recently found to impact all recent versions of Microsoft Office for macOS – rather than simply the long obsolete Office 2011 – the practical impact of the bug is still low due to a combination of application sandboxing and recent security enhancements found in macOS Catalina.
#security
 





Worth noting perhaps that, as of this 16.31 update, High Sierra 10.13 or above is now required. :-(
I noted the move to new requirements before and how this perpetuates forced obsolescence/updates/upgrades. And, this is now an interesting trap. If you're on Office 2019 v16.30 but running macOS 10.12 you now can't get Office security updates unless you upgrade your macOS (forced OS upgrade). However, if you had Office 2016 v16.16.16 (which runs on OS X 10.11 or later) you do get security updates. But there's no easy way back from Office 2019 to 2016, specifically for Outlook data (unless you have all its data in the cloud)! Nasty!
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
There is an app which has been around forever that does a stellar job of migrating stored email from virtually any format to any other format. Highly recommended:
Emailchemy.
I can also recommend this product, which successfully migrated my Eudora email to Thunderbird/Postbox. I wouldn't say it's quite perfect, as there were a few glitched emails in a huge conversion (and I'm not sure exactly why or how to recover/fix those emails), but I don't know of anything better, and there are several different ways of converting emails. (I only tried one.)
 


But there's no easy way back from Office 2019 to 2016, specifically for Outlook data (unless you have all its data in the cloud)! Nasty!
Microsoft has a support article about moving to Office 2016 for Mac from Office 2019 for Mac.


While the procedure is fairly straightforward for Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word, Graham is right to point out the challenge of moving from Outlook 2019 to Outlook 2016.

One thing to keep in mind is that Outlook manages more than just email messages; it also stores calendar entries, contacts, and other data.

If your data is stored on an Exchange server (including an Office 365 Exchange server), an IMAP server, or other supported cloud resource, like Google Calendar, it's not too much of a problem simply to start from scratch by connecting a clean Outlook 2016 installation to those cloud/server-based resources.

However, there are scenarios where data has been removed from servers and may only be available through your local Outlook profile. The biggest examples include POP mail messages and archived Exchange data. If you have any of those types of data, you'll need to take special care to ensure those types of data are preserved when migrating across Outlook versions.

Tools like Emailchemy can help migrate email messages, while contacts and calendar entries require other methods.

My hunch is that by far the easiest and best approach would be to export the Outlook 2019 data via OLM files (Microsoft's official Mac Outlook archive/export format) and to import the OLM files into Outlook 2016, assuming that the OLM formats are compatible. I suppose there may be some newer but relatively rarely used features that would fail to transfer.

FWIW, I just posted a question asking about importing Outlook 2019 OLM files into Outlook 2016 on the Microsoft support forums. We'll see whether there are any answers better than "upgrade to something newer than Sierra, you gray-bearded Luddite!"

PS. Evidently, Catalina 10.15.1 introduced some crashing problems with Word on "mid-2015 MacBook Pro laptops that are using a combination of a discrete Radeon graphics card and an onboard Intel Iris Pro card." The Word 16.31 November update includes a "temporary workaround" for the problem.
 


PS. Evidently, Catalina 10.15.1 introduced some crashing problems with Word on "mid-2015 MacBook Pro laptops that are using a combination of a discrete Radeon graphics card and an onboard Intel Iris Pro card." The Word 16.31 November update includes a "temporary workaround" for the problem.
Eek! I have one of those. Yet another reason to continue holding off on Catalina. Along with holding off on iOS 13, it's getting so you have to wait until just before they jump to the next OS before upgrading to the not latest and greatest....
 


Office 2019 will not open Word files from 1997, even running under Mojave. I was able to access them with LibreOffice, but the formatting was hosed, which can be a serious problem if you need access to the original production files, or format-sensitive information like tables. I had earlier saved the original .doc files in RTF format, and those also had the formatting - including vital reference citations - hosed by Office 2019.

I was able to rescue the critical files for one of my major books by opening the files in Word 2011 on a 2009 MacBook Pro running ElCapitan, and converted the files into .docx format that opens properly on Office 2019. No time to dig into this further, but at this point it looks like those of us with vital old files may need to keep old machines around to rescue the files from oblivion.
 


Office 2019 will not open Word files from 1997, even running under Mojave. I was able to access them with LibreOffice, but the formatting was hosed, which can be a serious problem if you need access to the original production files, or format-sensitive information like tables. I had earlier saved the original .doc files in RTF format, and those also had the formatting - including vital reference citations - hosed by Office 2019.

I was able to rescue the critical files for one of my major books by opening the files in Word 2011 on a 2009 MacBook Pro running ElCapitan, and converted the files into .docx format that opens properly on Office 2019. No time to dig into this further, but at this point it looks like those of us with vital old files may need to keep old machines around to rescue the files from oblivion.
And I have PICT files from 1997 and before that won't open in anything Apple provides now. I have to pay for (admittedly inexpensive) third-party software to do so. Office, though, is not particularly inexpensive. And when Office 2019 support expires (c. 2023), the payment will become annual, because there'll only be Office 365.
 


And when Office 2019 support expires (c. 2023), the payment will become annual, because there'll only be Office 365.
Did Microsoft confirm that there will be no more perpetual Office releases after 2019? Your post is the first I've heard about that.

Or is that just a guess that happens to have a high likelihood of becoming true?
 


And I have PICT files from 1997 and before that won't open in anything Apple provides now. I have to pay for (admittedly inexpensive) third-party software to do so. Office, though, is not particularly inexpensive. And when Office 2019 support expires (c. 2023), the payment will become annual, because there'll only be Office 365.
Microsoft have not stated anywhere (that I am aware of) that after Office 2019 there will only be a subscription version - they have specifically stated perpetual licensing is available for Office 2019. Yes, they are pushing people to subscription, but they have not (yet) committed to subscription only (with Office). Unless you have a link to information that states otherwise? What did change recently is that a perpetual license of Office 2019 is no longer available under the Home Use Program (HUP). For reference:

Office 2016 support runs out on 13/10/2020
Office 2019 support runs out on 10/10/2023

But also, as noted here, support for security updates for Office 2019/Office 365 is now also determined by the version of macOS that you are running.
 


I did some further checking, and Word 2019's behavior is not as bad as I had thought, but it does not recognize older .doc and .rtf files that lack the ".doc" and ".rtf" suffixes on the file names. It opens most with suffixes that I have tried, but I have not tested enough to be sure it opens them all.

What Word 2019 does not have is an option to let users pick options of what type of files to open in the Open Document box, which I have in Word 2011 and which I have been told exists in Word 2016. The bottom line is that we have lost some capabilities that existed before, but I can't define them precisely.

Nisus Writer Pro does not recognize old doc files without suffixes but will open them as text. I have not checked all my other options, and need to deal with deadlines now.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... it does not recognize older .doc and .rtf files that lack the ".doc" and ".rtf" suffixes on the file names....
Apple changed how file types are determined over the years, so that filename extensions are now critical to proper operation (although this wasn't the case in the past). Adding/using the appropriate file type extension at the end of the filename is the first thing to do now when working with any files that lack it.
 


Apple changed how file types are determined over the years, so that filename extensions are now critical to proper operation (although this wasn't the case in the past). Adding/using the appropriate file type extension at the end of the filename is the first thing to do now when working with any files that lack it.
Ouch! I probably have 10,000 such files. The good news is that I discovered I can use the Finder Rename option in my copious spare time, although it also makes me 'ok' everything.
 




A Better Finder Rename is a great app for adding suffixes to multiple files at once (plus a lot of other ways of renaming files). Also, Document Converter (www.rootrisetech.com) will bulk-convert doc files to docx (as well as PowerPoint and Excel files). I've converted a lot of old files with that app and am a happy user (with no official connection).
 


Microsoft have not stated anywhere (that I am aware of) that after Office 2019 there will only be a subscription version - they have specifically stated perpetual licensing is available for Office 2019. Yes, they are pushing people to subscription, but they have not (yet) committed to subscription only (with Office). Unless you have a link to information that states otherwise? What did change recently is that a perpetual license of Office 2019 is no longer available under the Home Use Program (HUP). For reference:

Office 2016 support runs out on 13/10/2020
Office 2019 support runs out on 10/10/2023

But also, as noted here, support for security updates for Office 2019/Office 365 is now also determined by the version of macOS that you are running.
For Windows, at least, you are absolutely right; my apologies. My guess is that a new version will also be available for macOS in the same time frame.

An article last year (caution: lots of pro-Microsoft puffery about the wonderful features to be found in Office 365 apps not available to stick-in-the-mud, non-cloud customers) clarified the situation with a comment from a Microsoft VP. The 365-only features most frequently mentioned online are "machine learning capabilities," "intelligent security features," and realtime document collaboration. The first two are just scary, and absent a legally binding commitment from Microsoft not to profit from documents stored in their cloud, the last is not much better. your milage may vary, but I generally used document collaboration, while I was still working, with people in other time zones, so the chances of realtime collaboration were small, so that wouldn't have been a major selling point for me. If, however, you work in a mostly open-plan office where your coworkers are snoozing or snogging in the few conference rooms, real-time collaboration online might be a thing.

It's just a typically strange Microsoft decision to call a standalone license a "perpetual" one... while committing to having a new product in approximately three years to replace it. (To be fair, Apple would probably call it a "magic" license.)
 





Office 2016 support runs out on 13/10/2020
Office 2019 support runs out on 10/10/2023
But also, as noted here, support for security updates for Office 2019/Office 365 is now also determined by the version of macOS that you are running.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the security risks of continuing to run Office 16 after security updates end, specifically if I'm only working with files I've created? I'd assume in general that's fairly safe, but am probably overlooking something.
 



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