Can I install Toolsuite with Office 365 (CTR)?


Cradle Toolsuite is compatible with both 2013 and 2016 Office 365. To see all Toolsuite compatibility see this page. Toolsuite should work with Office 365 the same as with a normal Office install. Occasionally there are problems due to issues with Office 365 not always with Toolsuite.

Document Loader, Document Publisher and Spellchecker make up Toolsuite
Document Loader, Document Publisher and Spellchecker make up Toolsuite

Office Updates

Recently there was an issue with an update to Office 365 which stopped our InstallShield correctly detecting the installed version. This issue has been fixed by changing our detection routine in a patch release. If you are seeing this issue with your original install files, please download the latest files and try again. Unfortunately this could happen again as we have no control over these updates. All 3SL can do is update our routines as and when this comes to our attention.

Occasionally when Office is updated and when newly installed, it requires you to Accept new terms. If you have not done this then you will see an Error when trying to start Toolsuite applications.

  • Error instartup: Object reference not set to an instance of an object

Windows 10 Updates

Since a Windows 10 update earlier this year everything is running slower on may different Microsoft™ Windows flavours. Word can open slower and this can cause issues if you are trying to publish a document. There is no work around for this except to keep trying to publish. Check this blog for more information but the summary so far is:

  • With Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skylake, Kabylake or newer CPU), benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns, but we don’t expect most users to notice a change because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds.
  • Aklso on Windows 10 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), some benchmarks show more significant slowdowns, and we expect that some users will notice a decrease in system performance.
  • Windows 8 and Windows 7 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), we expect most users to notice a decrease in system performance.
  • Windows Server on any silicon, especially in any IO-intensive application, shows a more significant performance impact when you enable the mitigations to isolate untrusted code within a Windows Server instance. This is why you want to be careful to evaluate the risk of untrusted code for each Windows Server instance, and balance the security versus performance trade-off for your environment.

Connection or Server Issues

Occasionally the Microsoft server or the connection is down (DownDetector) and this can also cause issues with the Office and Toolsuite. There is no work around for this except patience. Once the connection/server is fixed and up and running you should have no issues with Toolsuite.

Subscription and MSI installs

Having a mix of subscription and Microsoft Installer based MS Office installs can cause detection issues during a Toolsuite install. For example the user has a click-to-run Office 2013  installed but a Microsoft Installer version of MS Project or Visio™. This has been fixed by altering how we detect the architecture of the Office applications.

Mixed Office Versions

It is recommended in our install guides not to have mixed Office environments. For example you may have MS Office 2010 but Project 2016. These type of environments can cause install issues. Even once an install is successful there can be application issues including the loading and publishing documents.



An overview of the Toolsuite Products in Cradle Software

Toolsuite is a set of tools which utilises the applications in Microsoft® Office. These tools will only work on a Windows environment utilising MS Office from 2007 and up.

Supported Versions and Platforms

The Toolsuite supported versions of MS Office are:

  • 2007 32‐bit
  • 2010 32‐bit and 64‐bit
  • 2013 32‐bit and 64‐bit
  • 2016, 32‐bit and 64‐bit

Any of the Click To Run (CTR) Office suite is also supported by Cradle Toolsuite.

This can be on any of the following Windows platforms:

  • 7 32‐bit and 64‐bit
  • 8.1 32‐bit and 64‐bit
  • 10 32‐bit and 64‐bit

Also it can be installed on the following servers:

  • 2008 R2 32‐bit and 64‐bit
  • 2012 64‐bit
  • 2012 R2 64‐bit
  • 2016 64-bit


The different tools within the suite utilise the following Office applications:

  • Word
    • Document Loader for loading documents

      New document version to be captured using Document Loader
      Document Loader Screen
    • Document Publisher for creating and printing of official documents
    • Spellchecker to check the spelling in item frames
    • Word/document frames for items e.g. .doc and .docx frames
    • Document Coverage shows the items covered by a document
    • Document Compare compares different versions of source documents against each other
    • Word frame to RTF Frame converter
  • Excel
    • Add-in for imports

      The Excel add-in for Cradle's Toolsuite
      Excel Add-in
    • Excel frames for files
  • Project
    • Add-in for importing and exporting to a project file
    • Project frames for files
  • Visio
    • Plug-in allows import of pages and symbols as items
    • Visio frames for files
  • PowerPoint
    • Allows WorkBench to print diagrams to RTF and convert the file to PowerPoint presentations.

Installing Toolsuite

For a successful install of Toolsuite, the MS Office needs to be of one version and not mixed versions. For example, if the user has Word/Excel 2007 but Visio/Project 2013, the plug-in or frames for Visio/Project 2013 is not installed. The installer automatically checks for the architecture of Word/Excel as each MS Office version needs different library files installed by Toolsuite. All other MS applications versions are disregarded if a different version to Word and Excel.

Upgrading or changing MS Office

If upgrading or changing your Office then you should always uninstall Toolsuite first. Once Office is upgraded or changed, Toolsuite can be reinstalled to allow the correct library files to be installed.

Uninstall Toolsuite not Cradle
Uninstall Toolsuite not Cradle

The user doesn’t need to download a separate Toolsuite installer but can find the installer within the main Cradle install folder.

Toolsuite folder
Shows the Toolsuite folder within the main Cradle install folder

During the install the InstallShield will automatically pick the version to install based on the version of Word and Excel that are installed.

Once Toolsuite is installed successfully, you can access the plug-ins by opening the relevant MS application and selecting the Cradle tab. Document Loader, Document Publisher and Spellchecker are opened through WorkBench, Project Manager or the start menu.

The ‘Word frame to RTF‘ frame converter is accessed via a command line utility. This will take Word frames and copy the data into an RTF frame. More information for using the converter can be found by entering c_word2rtf into the Search bar of our Help system or online at

Both Document Coverage and Compare are used inside WorkBench and are started by selecting one or more Source Documents and selecting the option in a context menu.

For information on binary and other frames types check our help section or search our blog.

Trouble Shooting Issues

If you are having issues with the install of Toolsuite, then try the following:

  1. Make sure your Windows platform is fully up to date including:
    a. Visual V++ Redistributables (
    b. ‘.NET’ (
  2. Ensure the installed MS Office is fully up to date and check compatibility with Toolsuite here
  3. Ensure your old office keys are no longer in the Registry especially if you are using Click-to-Run versions
  4. Check the Compatibility tab in the Properties for the Toolsuite setup.exe. Select Change settings for all users and uncheck the Compatibility mode checkbox at the top of the dialog. Click the Apply button and OK to close Properties.
  5. Make sure you perform  the install with System Administrator privileges not just logged in as an Admin user

If you are having issues after install then try the following:

  1. Make sure you have restarted your machine after the install
  2. Check you have opened your Office and registered it if you need to
  3. Check .Net framework and C++ redistributables are up to date
  4. Make sure your Toolsuite version is the same as your server version

If none of the above trouble shooting works then send an email to with any logs created, exports and screenshots if possible.

For more information either look for blogs about the individual applications or see our online Help.

Spreadsheet Day 2017

How would we work without those ubiquitous columns and rows?

It may have started with Visicalc but these days it is hard to find an aspect of our organisational life that doesn’t have a spreadsheet in it. So during spreadsheet day 2017 try and think what it would be like adding up your budget by hand, working out hours worked per project, or even listing the office Christmas dinner totals.

Cradle supports a Microsoft Excel® capture utility directly bringing data in or CSV import from any spreadsheet’s saved output.


When the Office Toolsuite has been installed with Cradle you are able to capture information from Microsoft Excel® directly into Cradle.
On the sheet of interest select the Cradle Toolbar and Login to Cradle. Then select Capture and in the resultant Data Capture dialog, assign the correct columns to the item attributes in the database. You can change the Options… to overwrite or merge the data and you can Validate the data before Capture. The resultant capture can be viewed in Cradle via Workbench or Web Access. You will of course need the privilege to ITEM_CREATE.

Stages capturing from Excel
Excel® Capture Facility

Import CSV

To import items into Cradle you will additionally need the IMPORT privilege.
This is similar to the Capture utility, but can be run with any CSV source. Selecting CSV as the import type and then assigning each of the columns to the attributes of the item, will allow the data to be imported into Cradle.
More details about the CSV format can be found in the Cradle Help.

So why not celebrate everything columnar on spreadsheet day 2017 and capture some information into Cradle.

If you have a really old version of Cradle you may need to remove the old plug-ins

Do I have to retype my password if I have many projects?

Using Project Manager with Multiple Projects and Passwords

In an environment where you have numerous projects that you switch between, using Project Manager to Login can save retyping your Cradle password.

If you have many projects that you need to switch between and don’t have a limitless desktop to open multiple copies of Cradle or don’t want to lock multiple licences, use Project Manager to look after switching.

Once you Login  to a project through Project Manager your Cradle password is cached for that session. You can then access the project through WorkBench, Web Access, or the Toolsuite applications; Document Loader, Document Publisher or Spell Checker. When you exit a tool, you can open another project through Project Manager as you work through your day. When  you need to re-enter any previous projects, you’ll only need to use the Open command as your login details will be cached.

If you need to clear the cache (for security reasons) then simply use the Clear User Cache option. Alternatively close Project Manager.

Using Project Manager to login
Project Manager Login

LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

For an alternative way to manage your logins and passwords, see Cradle help LDAP Authentication.

Switch User

Another option to change to a different user is to use the “Switch Identity” option, this can be enabled in the “User Setup” A User Profile’s switch identity can only be set if you have read-write access to the User Profile. If you have no access to a User Profile, you cannot see any part of it, including the switch identity. If you have read-only access to a User Profile, the switch identity is disguised in the same manner as the User Profile’s password.

Article Updated 04/02/2019 – Added swith user

Full End to End Document Processing

Concept to Creation

Whatever you are making, whatever service you are delivering, you need a tool that supports your process from end to end. You can’t expect a successful outcome without control of your project’s lifecycle.

Complete End to End Document Processing

Despite living in an electronic world, where the promise was a paperless office, we are often faced with needing to manage documents at a number of points over the duration of the project. This is not surprising, even if we don’t handle hard copy,  a document is an tangible object.

Humans relate to the concept of a complete package of information being contained in the document. They generally make good reading if you start at the beginning and read through to the end. Non-fiction documents may be more likely to be read by accessing the index or contents and turning to a page number. Sometimes in an electronic copy there may be a hyper-link to another part of the document. On the whole, however, the format is fixed. You can’t easily re-arrange a document to see its contents from a different perspective, or organise it hierarchically based on a section of your choosing.

Managed and linked requirements, designs, constraints, tests, diagrams and definitions, need to be arranged, searched and traced, to reach our end goal effectively. The ability to see which customer requirements are ultimately verified by a test, or what system requirements are impacted by a customer change to a requirement are invaluable.

Cradle for Your Document Processing

From a document point of view, the triplet of Document Loader, WorkBench and Document Publisher covers the full lifecycle.

  • Customers often provide their initial requirements in the form of a MS Word document. Document Loader will parse, tag and link this information as it is drawn into Cradle’s database.
  • WorkBench is the ideal tool to develop and design, record and trace your project.
  • When the project is at a stage that needs a formatted output, Document Publisher is used.

Continue reading “Full End to End Document Processing”

Installation Issue With Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun

Recently several customers who use Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun have reported an installation issue with the Cradle Toolsuite for Microsoft Office. Its installer did not detect that Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun is installed.

Registry Solution

The problem is due to a recent Windows/Office update (we are not certain which one) which damages the default key in one of both of the registry folders:


The solution to the problem is to fix the Default key value, as shown in the figure using regedit. After fixing this key, our installer will detect that Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun is installed, and it will correctly install the Toolsuite.

Please be careful when you edit the registry as damage to the registry can prevent Windows working. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this issue, which is outside our control

Further Help

Check the registery entries are set correctly as show. If you  still have a problem, contact

Office Registery settings
Office Registery settings