How to: Set Microsoft Office initials with Active Directory information using RES Workspace Manager 2014

When you’ve installed Microsoft Office in your environment, the first time the user starts one of the Office products, they receive a pop-up box for the initials. Default there are two things the user has to fill in. The username and the initials. The username is the displayname within Active Directory. The initials is the first letter of the username. But, what if you want to fill this field also with some Active Directory information, like the property Initials.

In this environment I’m using RES Workspace Manager 2014, so there’re also possibilities to set some user variables in your session. First I’ve created a new environment variable with a query to read the information from Active Directory.

1.) Open the RES Workspace Manager Console and create a new environment variable. In my example it is Initials
2.) Give the new variable the following value $adinfo(Initials) There’re some more values possible, like firstname, lastname, etc….
3.) Login to your session, in my example a Windows 8.1 VDI desktop and open the command prompt
4.) Type the command set and search for the new variable Initials. It’s the information from the Active Directory
5.) Now return to the RES Workspace Manager Console and create a new User Setting (User Registry)
6.) The values are stored in the following registrykey:
7.) Add this path in the new registry setting and create two new REG_SZ keys
UserInitials with the value %Initials%
with the value %Username%
8.) Configure the Access Control and the Workspace Container
9.) Login again into a new session and start Microsoft Office, for example Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc…
10.) Open the options and take a look at the user initials.

This is a realy powerfull solution to control your users initials. You can choose to apply the User Registry settings once, so the users are able to edit the initials. You can use a User Preference to store this information in a .UPR (User Preference) with RES Workspace Manager.

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How to: Push default font in Outlook 2010 using Group Policy Preferences

When you want to force all your users to use a default font within Outlook 2010, you can configure this by using Group Policy Preferences. In this example I’ve made my own custom font settings within Outlook 2010. So let’s open the registry to see what keys are added or changed in my user environment.

1.) Open a command prompt and type regedit.exe. When you don’t have rights to start this tool, you can also open the registry remotely from another server.
2.) Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\MailSettings. There are added some binary keys.
3.) Create a new group policy, for example Outlook2010 Default Fonts
4.) Navigate to the User Configuration \ Preferences \ Windows Settings \ Registry
5.) Add a new Registry Item
6.) Add the keys in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\MailSettings
7.) When you link the new policy to the right organization unit and login with a user, let’s see whats happening…
8.) As you can see, the new default font is Verdana, 10.

Hopefully this is a userfull blogpost to push you in the right direction! This is one of the examples how powerfull the new User Preferences whitin Server 2008 R2 are.