If you’re reading this and use Word Templates to print GP documents (all of them), and experiencing all of a sudden some weird pop-ups when printing the documents to screen (see below), then it’s because your computer was recently updated with the latest MS-Office round of new versions pushed down somewhere around early September (8th or 9th).
The problem started to get noticed on the Dynamics GP Community forum around Sept 11th and was quickly acknowledged by the GP support team in Fargo as they published an official statement about the issue. The only known fix for now is to roll back the updates applied to the Office package, and if you haven’t been affected yet, communicate with your IT department and tell them to hold off the updates for Office for now until this gets sorted out.
There is no point in complaining to the GP support team and report to your partner, as they don’t control much what’s happening on the Microsoft Office development side. This is not the first time such a problem happen, as it occured in the past by affecting the VBA functionality in GP after some .NET or Office updates.
As a general recommendation, if your GP setup uses VBA customizations, as nice as they are and easy to develop, they carry a major flaw: they are not supported in the GP Web Client and they currently don’t work on Windows Server 2019.. As my friend David over at @winthropdc wrote last year, it’s best to start looking to replace old VBA customizations by something else, like #GPPT (GP Power Tools) or using the #VSIT (Visual Studio Integration Toolkit) in .NET. I wrote some blog posts in 2018 about how to use the GPPT to replace VBA customization and create quickly some functions to complement GP’s functionalities. David wrote recently tons of new examples on how to best use GPPT’s Developer module to create customizations in GP.
Hope that you enjoyed reading this and until next post, wish you a happy life.
PS: Fellow GP Blogger Jen Kuntz wrote about the issue too and the short-term options available to the customers affected by the bug.
Update (2020-09-17): A comment posted yesterday in the GP Support & Service blog related to this issue was providing a quick fix to roll-back the update to the previous build (Warning: I have not tested this myself, so try it on your own risk, though at this point your Office is already broken anyway… )
Rolling back to the previous build of Office fixed this issue for us. We were running build 16.0.10366.20016. Now running 16.0.10364.20059. The command used to roll back to previous build is this (from command prompt running as administrator): C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun>OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.10364.20059
Update (2020-09-22): Microsoft’s GP support team has posted an update which points the issue back to the way the XML content of the Word Template is generated. The ground issue apparently isn’t going to be fixed by the Office Team in Redmond as it’s a Security update, which means GP will need a fix to sort this out.. Read more details here.
Update (2020-09-24): Some readers may have jumped a little too quick on the above command line order to roll back the Office update.. I warned about this being not tested and that they should read the full post from Microsoft. Not everyone is on the same Office channel and build, thus the version number may varry. Here is a repost of the table holding the version numbers that are buggy and their previous builds.
Update (2020-10-01): Microsoft updated their blog post on Sept. 29th, providing some details about upcoming fixes. In a nutshell, they don’t recommend downgrading Office for security reasons (to not get behind patches), but rather use the Fix tool to temporarily fix the Word reports until they release a definitive GP patch/fix. GP 18.2 is scheduled to come out on Oct. 5th, which will include the Word Template patch..Older release will come later.
For any users or environments unable to upgrade, then the workarounds in the 9/22 Update are the best bet for now. We no longer recommend rolling back as this doesn’t allow you to stay current with Office. We have a fix coming for GP 2016 (determining the best route of delivery), but at this time it doesn’t look like there is a good way to get updates to versions of GP that no longer receive updates (GP 2015 and older). For older versions, the workarounds will be the only option until you upgrade GP.