|Initial release||November 19, 1996|
Service Release 2B (SR-2B) / October 7, 1999
|Platform||IA-32, DEC Alpha (partial)|
|Predecessor||Microsoft Office 95 (1995)|
|Successor||Microsoft Office 2000 (1999)|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
Microsoft Office 97 (version 8.0) is the fifth major release for Windows of Microsoft Office, released by Microsoft on November 19, 1996. 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 became 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 or later.[a] It is not officially supported on Windows XP or later versions of Windows. It is the last version of Microsoft Office to support Windows NT 3.51 SP5 and Windows NT 4.0 RTM–SP2; as the following version, Microsoft Office 2000 only supports Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 SP3 or later.
Mainstream hotfix support for Office 97 ended on August 31, 2001, while extended hotfix support ended on February 28, 2002. 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 was released in five editions:
|Office programs||Standard Edition||Professional Edition||Small Business Edition||Small Business Edition 2.0||Developer|
|Developer Tools and SDK||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Small Business Financial Manager 97||No||No||Yes[d]||No||No|
|Automap Streets Plus 5.0 (1997) ||No||No||Yes[e]||No||No|
|Small Business Financial Manager 98||No||No||No||Yes[f]||No|
|Direct Mail Manager||No||No||No||Yes[g]||No|
|Expedia Streets 98||No||No||No||Yes[e]||No|
|Internet Explorer 3.0||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Internet Explorer 4.0||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Team Manager 97||No||No||No||No||No|
- Outlook, FrontPage and Publisher 98 require Windows NT 4.0
- Includes SR-1 update
- Can be upgraded to Outlook 98 via coupon or download, although several OEM copies included Outlook 98
- 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
- Available only in the United States and Canada
- Available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia
- Available only in the United States
- Thurrott, Paul (October 7, 1999). "Microsoft Quietly Issues New Version of Office 97 SR2". ITProToday. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- "Chapter 5 - System Requirements for MS Office". Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit. Microsoft. June 14, 2017. ISBN 9781572313293. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "Microsoft Office 97 Released to Manufacturing". News Center. Las Vegas: Microsoft. November 19, 1996. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014.
- "MS Office 97 Service Release 2B (SR-2B)". TechNet. Microsoft. October 1999. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
- "Microsoft Office Family Product Support Lifecycle FAQ". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
- "Microsoft Extends Anti-Piracy Features in Office 2000". News Center. Redmond, WA: Microsoft. December 9, 1998.
- "Excel Easter Egg - Excel 97 Flight to Credits". The Easter Egg Archive. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
- "Excel Easter Egg - Excel 97 Flight Simulator - for Later Versions of Microsoft Excel". The Easter Egg Archive. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
- "Office 97 Small Business Edition v2 - Features". Microsoft. February 1, 2000. Archived from the original on February 26, 2000. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- "Microsoft Automap Streets Plus Preferred 2-to-1 in New Study". June 11, 1997. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
- "Microsoft Launches New Version of Preferred Street-Finding Software". August 26, 1997. Retrieved November 29, 2022.