Compatibility problem between VS 2008 and Office 2000 and how to fix it

A few users discovered that design view in VS 2008 and Visual Web Developer Express 2008 may get broken when Office 2000 is installed. See, for example, and Actually, the issue is wider and may affect Office 2003 installation as well. The problem manifests itself when machine has path to the Office folder with older version of fpcutl.dll specified in the system path. User might do this so they could run Office from the command line. However, adding Office path to the system path causes OS to pick the older dll when VS 2008 designer tries to loads its components. You can learn more about how OS loads dlls in the LoadLibrary API documentation.

As a workaround, try setting path to the VS 2008 designer (typically Program Files\Microsoft Web Designer Tools\VWD) before path to the Office folder or remove path to the Office folder completely from the system path. For Office 2000 this is normally Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office. Adding VWD path before Office should not affect Office applications or FrontPage 2000 since they use custom dll discovery mechanism.