Microsoft Office 97

Microsoft Office 97 (version 8.0) is the fifth major release for Windows of Microsoft Office, released by Microsoft on November 19, 1996.[3] It succeeded Microsoft Office 95 and was replaced by Microsoft Office 2000 in 1999. A Mac OS equivalent, Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition, was released on January 6, 1998.

Microsoft Office 97
Office 95 and 97 logo.svg
Office 97 on Windows NT 4.0.png
Microsoft Office 97 core programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) running on Windows NT 4.0 with the Office Assistant present
Initial releaseNovember 19, 1996; 25 years ago (1996-11-19)
Final release
Service Release 2B (SR-2B) / October 7, 1999; 22 years ago (1999-10-07)[1]
Operating systemWindows NT 3.51 SP5 or later[2]
PlatformIA-32, DEC Alpha (partial)
PredecessorMicrosoft Office 95 (1995)
SuccessorMicrosoft Office 2000 (1999)
TypeOffice suite
LicenseProprietary commercial software Edit this on Wikidata

Microsoft Office 97 is a major milestone release which includes hundreds of new features and improvements over its predecessor.

The suite is officially compatible with Windows NT 3.51 SP5, Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows Me, but not with Windows 3.1x, Windows NT 3.1 and Windows NT 3.5. It is the last version of Microsoft Office to support Windows NT 3.51 SP5 and Windows NT 4.0 versions below SP3; as the following version, Microsoft Office 2000 will only support Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 SP3 or later. [a]

Two Service Releases (SR-1 and SR-2) were released for Office 97; SR-2 solved the year 2000 problem in Office 97.[4]

Mainstream hotfix support for Office 97 ended on August 31, 2001, while extended hotfix support ended on February 28, 2002.[5] Assisted support options and security updates for Office 97 ended on January 16, 2004.


Office 97 introduced "Command Bars," a paradigm in which menus and toolbars were made more similar in capability and visual design. It also featured natural language systems and sophisticated grammar checking.

Microsoft Office 97 is the first version of Office to feature the Office Assistant, a feature designed to assist users by the way of an interactive animated character, which interfaced with the Office help content. The default assistant was "Clippit", nicknamed "Clippy", a paperclip. The Office Assistant feature was also included in its successor, Office 2000, as well as in Office XP (hidden by default) and 2003 (not installed by default), before being removed entirely in Office 2007.

Office 97 is also the first Microsoft product to include product activation, albeit limited to the Brazilian editions of Office 97 Small Business Edition and Publisher.[6]

Two Office 97 applications featured easter eggs: Microsoft Word 97 contained a hidden pinball game and Microsoft Excel contained a hidden flight simulator.[7][8]


The vivid cover art emphasized the fifth "puzzle piece", Microsoft Access

Office 97 was released in five editions:

Office programs Standard Edition Professional Edition Small Business Edition Small Business Edition 2.0[9] Developer
Word 97 Yes Yes Yes Yes[b] Yes
Excel 97 Yes Yes Yes Yes[c] Yes
Outlook 97 Yes Yes Yes Yes[d] Yes
PowerPoint 97 Yes Yes No No Yes
Access 97 No Yes No No Yes
Bookshelf Basics No Yes No No Yes
Developer Tools and SDK No No No No Yes
Publisher 97 No No Yes No No
Small Business Financial Manager 97 No No Yes[e] No No
Automap Streets Plus 5.0 (1997) [10] No No Yes[f] No No
Publisher 98 No No No Yes No
Small Business Financial Manager 98 No No No Yes[g] No
Direct Mail Manager No No No Yes[h] No
Expedia Streets 98[11] No No No Yes[i] No
Internet Explorer 3.0 Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Internet Explorer 4.0 No No No Yes No
Schedule+ 97 Yes Yes No No Yes
Binder 97 Yes Yes No No Yes
FrontPage 97 No No No No No
Project 98 No No No No No
Team Manager 97 No No No No No


  1. ^ Outlook, FrontPage and Publisher 98 require Windows NT 4.0
  2. ^ Includes SR-1 update
  3. ^ Includes SR-1 update
  4. ^ Can be upgraded to Outlook 98 via coupon or download, although several OEM copies included Outlook 98
  5. ^ Can be upgraded to Small Business Financial Manager 98 for free from Office Update website (requires Excel 97 SR-1) ; available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia
  6. ^ Available only in the United States and Canada
  7. ^ Available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia
  8. ^ Available only in the United States
  9. ^ Available only in the United States and Canada


  1. ^ Paul Thurrott (October 7, 1999). "Microsoft quietly issues new version of Office 97 SR2". ITProToday. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  2. ^ "Chapter 5 - System Requirements for MS Office". Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit. Microsoft. 1997. ISBN 9781572313293. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Microsoft Office 97 Released to Manufacturing". News Center. Las Vegas: Microsoft. November 19, 1996. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "MS Office 97 Service Release 2B (SR-2B)". TechNet. Microsoft. October 1999. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "Microsoft Office Family Product Support Lifecycle FAQ". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "Microsoft Extends Anti-Piracy Features in Office 2000". News Center. Redmond, WA: Microsoft. December 9, 1998.
  7. ^ "Excel Easter Egg - Excel 97 Flight to Credits". The Easter Egg Archive. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  8. ^ "Excel Easter Egg - Excel 97 Flight Simulator - for Later Versions of Microsoft Excel". The Easter Egg Archive. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  9. ^ "Office 97 Small Business Edition v2 - Features". Microsoft. February 1, 2000. Archived from the original on February 26, 2000. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  10. ^ Microsoft Automap Streets Plus Preferred 2-to-1 in New Study
  11. ^ Microsoft Launches New Version of Preferred Street-Finding Software