Outlook 2016 CTR - Signature Button and Stationery and Fonts Button not working

I had this question after viewing Outlook 2016 "Signature" Button and "Stationary and fonts" buttons do not work.

That question was resolved a few months ago by the OP just reinstalling a different image.  I don't have that option.

I'm on a brand-new Lenovo X1 Yoga that came with Win 64 Pro.  I installed Office 2016 Click-to-run via Office 365.  There are no previous versions of Office installed.  All other parts of Office seem to be working perfectly.

I've tried the registry edits in this article by Diane Poremsky:

But no luck.  When I click the Signature button in File-Options-Email, the screen locks up for about 30 seconds, then releases, but the signatures form never appears.

Can someone help with this?  I need my signature!

Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006President, J Street TechnologyAsked:
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Shaun VermaakTechnical SpecialistCommented:
When you followed that article, did you adjust the path for Office 2016?

Mine is
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE

Open in new window

Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006President, J Street TechnologyAuthor Commented:
Hi Shaun,

Yes, my path is the same as yours:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE

I have that path in both (default)  (REG_SZ) and LocalServer32 (REG_MULTI_SZ) in these keys:


I have also:

Quick Repaired Office
Full Repaired Office
Uninstalled and Reinstalled Office

Of course I restart my PC after everything I try.

The behavior never changes.  My Signatures button highlights, all Office windows lock up for around 30 secs, and then the button goes back to white and the windows respond again - but no signature form appears.

I'm open to paying for live tech help if someone can help me figure this out!

Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006President, J Street TechnologyAuthor Commented:
No other ideas?  I'm resorting to keeping a draft email open so that I can copy and paste my own signature into every new email.  Please save me from this barbaric approach.  :)

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Nelson PardeeCommented:
I discovered after I wrote the prior comment that I had another problem- two entries on the start menu for each of the office apps, e.g., two of word, excel, etc.

I should mention that this is a new PC, and I've had issues with Office since day one. Office apps would run by clicking on files, but none were in the Start menu, and office would not uninstall from control panel (I don't remember if it was listed there or not). An MS tech "fixed" this by creating a second admin user and uninstalling then reinstalling office. Unfortunately, I then had duplicate entries for the Office apps. I created a third user, did uninstall, deleted profiiles, reinstalled, and seemed to be ok.(although the install hung and had to be restarted). I deleted the tech's admin user.
Then I discovered this problem with signatures, and tried to fix with this registry fix. No go. After that, I discovered that the duplicate apps were back. I deleted Office again, by going through control panel, then individually deleting the set of office apps still on the start menu. I left the profiles in place. I then deleted the original admin user, leaving only the new admin user I created. I reinstalled Office. Now I don't have duplicate apps, and signature works.

I can't be 100% sure, but it seems like I may have resolved my issues. It appears the root of the problem is that 30 day Office free trial getting registered. As a bolster to this theory, Dell has a long and detailed page on getting rid of Office365 trial.
Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006President, J Street TechnologyAuthor Commented:
Hi Nelson,

Interesting!  I also have duplicate Start menu entries for the Office programs.  In each case, one says "New" and the other doesn't.

I've worked for hours with MS tech support, and they never checked that, and I never noticed it (I launch programs just by hitting Windows key and typing the first few letters - I rarely look at the actual list.)

I've been through many cycles of uninstalling and reinstalling Office, and deleting and rebuilding profiles.  I've even once reset to the Lenovo factory image and started over!  My Signatures buttons still don't work, and I've also discovered that I can't edit Contacts - if I try to change an address or phone number, Outlook freezes for about a minute and the change isn't saved.

Do you have instructions of what you would recommend I try at this point?  Or better, would you be willing to look at it with me?  I'm happy to pay for some 1:1 tech help.

Nelson PardeeCommented:
Hi, Armen,
Not as much as you, I still spent a good amount of time with MS. Unfortunately, only one of the several people I talked to seemed to be technical folks, including a couple of supposed Level 2 techs. They all tried hard.

It sounds like you've tried almost everything, the only question being whether you did them in the "right" sequences. And I can't guarantee that what I did (or think I did) is truly the solution.

If all you had was the signatures and contacts problems, I would aim you at a registry fix that's on Diane Poremsky's Slipstick site.

A question- did your PC come with a trial version of Office? Which version?

Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006President, J Street TechnologyAuthor Commented:
Hi Nelson,

I've confirmed that my Lenovo shows Office 2016 Trial on the invoice.  There's only one version of Office listed in Add/Remove Programs, but when I launch the two Start menu shortcuts into, say, Excel, it shows two different versions!  (1701, which I reverted to and blocked updates, and 1801).

I've already tried the Slipstick tips, no joy.

I'll keep working with MS, or try to eradicate ALL traces of Office and then reinstall.  Sheesh.

Nelson PardeeCommented:
You might want to look here- the opening paragraph appears to incorporate some information I've found
If that doesn't work, here's the process I would suggest (note- I know you've tried this,
but it might work for someone else and it's a lot easier than what I'm proposing)
-Save your data
-Are you able to delete office and all instances on the start menu?
  - if yes, and you have also at the same time deleted the profile, I'm not sure I have any suggestions.
    A windows repair using the vendors tool, followed by an uninstall of office, then an office
    reinstall from the Microsoft download might do it.
  - if no, create a new administrative user, and
     * use that to uninstall office and delete Start menu entries
     * delete that administrative user
     * create a new administrative user as a local, not a microsoft user. I recommend a short username,
        such as an initial and a last name (but don't re-use either the original or the just created and
        deleted username)
     * transfer/load any data (my documents, desktop, my pictures/music/videos, downloads (if you want them)
        etc. to this new user
     * delete the initial user created in the windows reinstall. You should only have one user at this point.
     * change the local user to a microsoft user
     * download office from Microsoft. Hopefully, this will resolve the problem.
         if it doesn't , might try the registry fix at this point. I did apply that fix
        and it might have been part of the solution.
  Hope this might help.

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Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006President, J Street TechnologyAuthor Commented:
Hi Nelson,

I'm happy to report that my Office install is working.  Thank you so much for your ideas.  For future readers, here's what I did (without help from MS support, who didn't respond to my emails or return my call).

1. I uninstalled Office normally.
2. There were still extra links for Office programs in my Start menu.
3. I ran Option 1 and 2 from this article.  Neither of them removed the Start menu items.
4. I finally printed out and meticulously followed the manual uninstall steps in Option 3, documented in this article.  Most of the registry keys and files weren't there, but a few of them were.
5. I reinstalled Office 2016 CTR from the Office 365 portal.
6. Everything works.

I did not do anything with Windows profiles or Outlook profiles.

I'm dismayed that a clean, factory Lenovo would have an Office Trial on it that would completely hose a subsequent install of Office 2016.  How could Microsoft miss this seemingly likely scenario?  It took MANY HOURS of my time to figure out.

I hope my painful story helps someone else someday.

Thanks again,
Nelson PardeeCommented:
I suspect that I may have had some extra steps in my solution- but I seemed to need them.

I want to second Armen's comment that it appears Microsoft has a problem with the trial installation of Office. Clearly, from my experience and the statements by Microsoft Level Two, it was a known problem. As I recall, the tech didn't even stop to think about what the problem was. But also, the solution provided did not work. I do hope that Microsoft finds, documents, and hopefully soon, fixes this problem.
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