having fun with MAU4 macOS

Having fun with MAU4 or How to Lose an Entire Day of Productivity | This post was inspired by a Slack conversation with Dr. Emily Kausalik. Like all good distractions, once she suggested the emoji idea ?, work came to an immediate stop ?!

The Microsoft Auto Updater 4 Beta (click here) is a great utility for macOS deployments using MS Office. It only updates changes to the binary which is a significant improvement over the current updater as the packages are much smaller. Additionally, you are able to trigger it with CLI arguments that include messaging to signal users to save their work and quit MS Office applications so the installer can apply the updates. In macOS, simply updating MS Office can prevent a lot of issues and restore productivity. Unfortunately, users sometimes have a tendency to ignore messages to update. So it becomes important to help insure that these updates are applied.

So what makes this fun?

The notifications in MAU4 allow the use of emoji’s. You have to convert them to UTF-8 format, but it works. The cool thing is that this might catch the eye of your users, prompting them to actually read the notification. What’s fun is that there are a ton of emojis you can choose from.

In this example, Emily (https://twitter.com/emilyooo) puts a ghost in this notification using the following command:

msupdate –install –message:”$(printf “\xf0\x9f\x91\xbb”) says, please save and quit MS Office Applications immediately”

The first part contains the command to display the emoji:
$(printf “\xf0\x9f\x91\xbb”) with the part in quotations containing the ghost emoji. You can see a result of the output in the pic below.

fun with MAU4 macOS

So putting it all together.

1) Download the MAU4 Beta for testing.
2) Read the cli command info from the man page (below)
3) Select an emoji and find the UTF-8 code. Click here for a list.
4) Craft your notification message and CLI commands.**
5) Make sure you have MS Office installed on your Mac and the applications are open. (The message will prompt you to close them.)
6) Insert command into terminal and execute.
7) Have fun!


Enable Emoji Keyboard on macOS (click here)
Emoji to Unicode Reference Page(click here)

MAU4 CLI Reference

This is from the man page for msupdate:
usage: msupdate [ …]

-h | –help Show usage information
-c | –config Display current AutoUpdate configuration
-l | –list List available updates for installed Microsoft applications
-i | –install Download and install available updates
-a | –apps: Install specific application updates
-t | –terminate: Forcibly close running applications with seconds notice
-m | –message: Notification text to display to the user when apps are going to be closed
-f | –format Format output results
p | plist Property list format

1. List all available updates
msupdate –list
2. Download and install all available updates
msupdate –install
3. Download and install available updates for Word, forcibly closing the app after 5 minutes if necessary
msupdate –install –apps:MSWD15 –terminate:5 –message:’Please save and quit Word immediately’
4. Download and install available updates for Outlook and Excel, forcibly closing the apps immediately if they are running
msupdate -i -a:OPIM15,XCEL15 -t:0
5. Download and install available updates for Skype for Business, displaying results in plist format
msupdate -i -a:MSFB16 -f:p



** Please note, using the –terminate option forces the applications closed. This may not provide an ideal or friendly experience if deployed to other users. No one forces users apps closed in production enviornments.

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IT Director in Austin TX • Husband & Father • Apple and Linux aficionado • Passionate about connecting w/ & supporting educators to improve teaching and learning.

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