Ubuntu 12.04: Office and Play on Linux

One the requirements for my laptop is to be able to edit Microsoft Office documents.  LibreOffice works quite well and was installed by default, but when exchanging complex documents with other Office users, Microsoft Office has no substitute.

So, my solution is to run Office using wine.  I have used winetricks in the past to install Linux, but that didn’t work this time.  This time a project called Play on Linux came through for me.

Here’s what I did…

Installing Play on Linux

There’s nothing to installing Play on Linux.  You can find it in the Software Center.

When first opening Play On Linux, it goes through a little wizard routine.

The wizard was pretty short…

And, it opened up a blank window.  So, we are ready to begin installing.


To start the install, simply click the install button in the Play on Linux window.

If you look in the Office collection, you should find Office 2007 in the list.  Select it and click install…

Next, I found that it actually downloads wine version 1.2.3 for this!

This screen is the way that it asks you to place the CD in the drive.

In the Office Installer

Now, Play on Linux takes us to Microsoft’s installer.  Of course, first you have to enter the license key:

And, you have to agree to their license requirements:

Finally, we are ready to install…

After waiting a while, you should get to the end of the install:

Doing the First Run

Now, we’re not quite installed yet.  You may see it in the window …

But, we still have  to go through the activation wizard.  Select Microsoft Word, and click the Run button on the toolbar.

Then, comes the activation wizard:

If you’ll notice from the error message that photo bombed my screenshot, I had to try two times to activate over the Internet.

But, it did go through the second time:

Then, you get nice little welcome wizard:

I tried to enable downloading updates…

And, the updates part didn’t work again!

Microsoft Word does work just fine now.

Creating Shortcuts

You should have shortcuts on your desktop for Word, Power Point, and Excel.  If you are like me, you don’t want the shortcuts on your desktop, but you want to launch them from your menu.

First, if something happened and you don’t have the shortcut anymore, you can recreate it from Play On Linux.  Just click the Shortcut button:

This gives you a shortcut wizard window.  Notice that it is creating the shortcut on the desktop.

Now, we need to open the properties for the shortcut on the desktop.  You can right click on the icon to find the properties:

Now, open the “Main Menu” program.  You may need to install it from the Software Center if you haven’t already.  Navigate to the Office menu and click the “New Item” button.

For the icon, I had to get a little creative.  I found that it creates the icon hidden under the .PlayOnLinux folder.

So, this left me with a nice launcher with an icon and all:

After repeating the process for Power Point and Excel, I have all three programs in my menu.  Note that I had a little issue with the Word label, but I am thinking that should straighten itself out as it reindexes my programs.

3 thoughts on “Ubuntu 12.04: Office and Play on Linux

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for this.
    After creating my menu entry, Outlook shows up perfectly under Unity menu.
    However, I still get a 2nd icon when launching.
    One is the Outlook Icon – I also get the Wine glass icon.
    Do you know how to resolve?

    1. Grant, I wonder if maybe you have the Type in your shortcut set to “Application in Terminal” rather than just “Application”.

      Right now on Ubuntu 12.10, as long as I launch it via the Unity menu, I get only a single icon on the taskbar.

      (sorry for the late reply)

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