Microsoft Office 2011: Unattended download and installation

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Microsoft Office 2011: Unattended download and installation

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I own Microsoft Office 2011 and wanted to make the process of installing it easier, since I own several Macs and have this habit of reinstalling OS X frequently. So I wrote a shell script because that's what I do to solve these sorts of problems. The best part of the script is that it does not require you to have any of the necessary parts. You do not need your installation DVDs or to have downloaded the latest updates.

Once you start the script, it will download everything that you need directly from Microsoft's servers and install all of them for you. The entire process can be left completely unattended after it is started. The length of time for the install process depends on your network speed. The total download size is 1.16 GB (aka 1.08 GiB or 1,157,294,708 bytes) as of today.

Once the script is finished, the necessary files will be available in ~/Downloads/Office2011/ which you can then copy to any of your other Macs. The script will look for files in ~/Downloads/Office2011/ and if they already exist, it will not download them again.

The script will install the following

Once the script finishes, it will run "Microsoft" to make sure that there are not additional updates necessary.

How to use this script (The Easy Way)

There is an installer available. This is an Automator app which will simply download and run the for you.

Please note that because of Gatekeeper settings in OS X, you may have to right click the installer app and choose open in order to get it to launch.

Once you confirm that you want to download and install Office, the rest will take place behind the scenes. You will be prompted to enter your administrator password because the installation cannot continue without it.

Update 2013-12-29: I have updated the information at GitHub to include a walk-through of using the GUI Installer application. If you tried it before and it did not work, please try again.

How to use this script (The Nerdy Way)

A better way to use this script requires the which is found in /Applications/Utilities/. Using Terminal is like getting under the hood of your car: it shouldn't scare you, but you shouldn't just go randomly poking around either.

Once in, you will need to:

1) download the installer script (this should all be one line):

curl --remote-name ""

2) make it executable

chmod 700

3) run the script.

sudo ./

Note that you will have to enter your administrator password to use sudo.

After Installation

Once the installation finishes, Microsoft's Auto Update app will be launched. This will make sure that there are no additional updates needed which have been released since this script was written. It is also a good time to set the auto-updater to run as often as you'd like it to run automatically. I recommend once a week.

Disclaimer and Final Notes

As far as I know, installing Office 2011 this way gives you the same result as if you had installed using OS X's on the various pkg files directly. However, there's a chance that I could be wrong. Use at your own risk, etc.

The only difference that I am aware of is that installing Microsoft Office using these scripts does not automatically add the apps to your OS X Dock. This is considered a feature, not a bug.

Using this installer will not give you free access to Microsoft Office 2011. The first time you run it, you will be asked for your license code or Office 365 subscription information. If you do not have either of those you can use a trial version of Office, but I do not know what kinds of limitations it places on you. Discovering those is left as an exercise to the reader.

Upon installation, you may want to read my article on how to Reduce visual clutter in Microsoft Word.

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