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This article contains a brief description and a sample macro detailing how to automate Microsoft Word from another program. For more detailed information, see the "References" sub-section at the end of this article.
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Automation (formerly OLE Automation) is a feature that programs use to expose their objects to development tools, macro languages, and other programs that support Automation. For example, a spreadsheet program may expose a worksheet, chart, cell, or range of cells, each as a different type of object. A word processor might expose objects such as an application, a document, a paragraph, a sentence, a bookmark, or a selection.
When a program supports Automation, you can use Visual Basic for Applications to access the objects it exposes. You manipulate these objects in Visual Basic by invoking methods on the object or by getting and setting the object's properties.
You can use the code samples in this article to control Microsoft Word from Microsoft Access 97, Microsoft Excel 97, Microsoft PowerPoint 97, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, or any other client that supports Automation to control Word.
Getting StartedThere are four main steps to automate Word for Windows.
Step 1: Adding a Reference to the Word 8.0 Object LibraryTo add a reference to the Microsoft Word 8.0 Object Library using Microsoft Access 97, Microsoft PowerPoint 97, or Microsoft Excel 97, follow these steps:
Adding the Microsoft Word 8.0 Object Library reference allows your program to access Microsoft Word Online Help and the Microsoft Word Visual Basic for Applications constants, properties, and methods. Note that the Word 8.0 Object Library reference is required to automate the Word object types directly.
Adding a reference to the Word 8.0 Object Library is called early binding.
For more information about early binding, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/138138/EN-US/ )INFO: Late, ID, Early Binding Types Possible in VB for Apps
Step 2: Declaring the Object VariableTo declare an object variable, you dimension the variable just as you dimension any variable, except that you specify the type when declaring the object. For example, Word.Application, Document, and Paragraph are separate Word Objects.
The following sample command line declares the variable objWD as an object of type Word.Application:
Step 3: Setting the VariableThere are two Visual Basic functions you can use to "bind" the already declared object variable to Word: CreateObject and GetObject. The primary differences are that the CreateObject function creates a new instance of Word, while the GetObject function uses an existing, or already running instance of Word. You can also use GetObject to bind your object variable to a specific Word document.
The following sample command lines bind the objWD variable to Word using the CreateObject function:
The following sample command lines bind the objWdDoc variable to a specific Word document:
NOTE: It is recommended to use only the CreateObject function to automate Word for Windows. The GetObject function can cause unpredictable behavior if WordMail is running or if a Word document is embedded inside of another program.
For more information about getting help with Visual Basic for Applications, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/185232/EN-US/ )WD97: Error Message Using WordMail: 'This method or property is not available'
Step 4: Use Properties and Methods to Automate WordWhen you complete steps 1-3, you can use the object variable to automate Word.
The following sample macro uses automation to create a Word object, create a new document, add some text, and save the document.
NOTE: The following sample macro duplicates the process described in the AutomateWord macro and runs directly in Word:
ReferencesFor more information specific to automating Word using Visual Basic for Applications, please see the following resources.
Microsoft Office Developer Web Site
Microsoft Office 97/Visual Basic Programmer's GuideUsing Automation in the Microsoft Word Objects chapter of the Microsoft Office 97/Visual Basic Programmer's Guide (ISBN: 1-57231-340-4).
View the guide online at:
NewsgroupsThe following peer-to-peer newsgroups are available to help you interact with other users of Visual Basic for Applications:
Knowledge BaseFor more information about getting help with Visual Basic for Applications, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/163435/EN-US/ )VBA: Programming Resources for Visual Basic for Applications
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/173707/EN-US/ )OFF97: How to Run Sample Code from Knowledge Base Articles
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/163425/EN-US/ )WD97: Macro Programming Resources
Office AssistantFor more information about Automation, in the Visual Basic Editor, click the Office Assistant, type "Automation", click Search, and then click to view "Communicating with other applications."
NOTE: If the Assistant is hidden, click the Office Assistant button on the Standard toolbar. If the Assistant is not able to answer your query, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/176476/EN-US/ )OFF: Office Assistant Not Answering Visual Basic Questions
Article ID: 184974 - Last Review: January 22, 2007 - Revision: 4.3