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Microsoft Office

At TTS, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides is our preferred tool for documents/spreadsheets/presentations, since it has built-in records retention, collaboration, sharing, importing and exporting of Office files, etc.

In normal day-to-day operations, working on projects for GSA, you will probably never need Microsoft Office. However, if you should encounter an edge situation where Google productivity tools aren’t sufficient, the preferred work around is to use Microsoft Office through the VDI.

The offering of Office for Mac 2016 licenses from GSA has been on-again-off-again—see some of the history and considerations.

Requesting a license

It is not currently possible to install Office for Mac 2016 on machines without admin rights. The Tech Portfolio is looking into paths forward.

To request a Microsoft Office license for your Mac, please send an email to with a short explanation of why you need Office rather than using G Suite.

You should receive a reply from the SaaS (Software as a Service) Manager after your access to an Office license has been granted, as well as, an email from Microsoft. When you receive the latter, wait up to two hours: it takes that long for your license access to be granted to your new account. Then, follow these instructions, as the ones in the email lack some details.

  1. Go to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center.
  2. Click the “Sign In” button.
    • If the sign in page is sending you in a loop, switch to Safari.
  3. Select the second option “Sign in with your Microsoft account.”
    • Do not choose to “Sign in with a work account”, it will not let you sign in.
    • If it does not allow you to sign in, you will need to click on “No account? Create one!”
  4. Log in or create an account with your GSA email and navigate to “Downloads and Keys.”
  5. Click on “Download” for “Office 2016 for Mac Standard.”
  6. Click the link under step 1, or to use a download manager, click the “Continue” button.

If you sign into your account and it says that you do not have a license, there is one more step you must take to complete the installation. When you download Microsoft Office, there is an entire wall of text and hidden in that wall of text are instructions related to installing the Serializer package. Follow those instructions to install the Serializer package and your download is complete!

If you cannot find Microsoft Office on your computer after you download: Click on each link separately for Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and they will download individually. You will have to sign in or create an account each time you download. This should install the applications you need on your computer.

If you have any questions, please ask the Tech Portfolio.