Microsoft Office to publish symbols starting August 2022

We are excited to announce that Microsoft Office will begin publishing Office symbols for Windows via the Microsoft Public Symbol Server on August 9th 2022. The publication of Office symbols is a part of our continuing investment to improve security and performance for customers and partners.

Key Advantages for customers, partners, and Microsoft

Security: Empowering the security community to protect customer

  • Symbols provide additional information to better enable security researchers to find and report security issues in our Office products to help protect customers.   
  • Symbols allow researchers to create more detailed and actionable reports, including stack traces from tools like Process Monitor, WinDbg, or Visual Studio, which help our engineers fix issues faster.  

Performance: faster diagnostics and testing 

Symbols empower customers and partners to better understand and potentially diagnose issues they’re encountering. They also open the door for the development of more advanced performance tools and insights. 

  • Independent hardware vendors can use Office public symbols with their own hardware diagnostic environment to performance test and tune their devices. 
  • Independent software vendors can use Office public symbols with their own software diagnostics environment to performance test and tune their Office dependent software. 
  • Performance test suites that use Office as a measurement can leverage Office public symbols to provide more tailored performance reporting to their test suite customers. 

What are symbols?

Symbol files are created by the compiler when you build your project. Symbol files contain information – symbols – that the debugger uses while analyzing a program.  

Some basic symbols, such as function names, global variables, are needed for even the most rudimentary debugging and are called public symbols while files containing additional information like local variables and line numbers are called private symbols. Symbol files that contain public symbols alone are called stripped symbol files – which Microsoft Office will be publishing on the Symbol Server 

Microsoft Symbol Server

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Description automatically generated with low confidence

You can access Office symbols via the Microsoft Public Symbol Server

Microsoft makes certain symbols, binary code, and other executables available via the Microsoft Symbol Server for use in debugging and testing of the user’s software in connection with Microsoft software, and not for any unauthorized use. Please refer to the Microsoft License Terms – Microsoft Symbol Server

We will be publishing symbols for the following builds and future builds, on a continuing basis, as each new build is released: 

  • Current Channel/July Fork Build 16.0.15601.20037/ Version 2208  
  • Beta Channel/DevMain Build 16.0.15606.20000/ Version 2209 

We’re excited to begin publishing Office symbols to improve diagnostics and testing and empower Office security research as part of Microsoft’s holistic approach to defending against security threats. 

Sparsh Saxena | Product Manager (Office), Shane Guthrie | Sr. Product Manager (Office)