Article ID: 319719 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q319719
As part of the startup process, Microsoft Word can load Component Object Model (COM) add-ins. A COM add-in is a supplemental program that extends the capabilities of Microsoft Word by adding custom commands and specialized features.
NOTE: A Microsoft program and a third-party program both can install COM add-ins.
When you troubleshoot problems in Microsoft Word, you may need to use the /a startup switch to temporarily make unavailable certain components that typically are loaded when you start Word. By using this troubleshooting technique, you may be able to determine where a problem exists. This article describes how to determine which COM add-in files are installed in Microsoft Word and how to temporarily make them unavailable when you are trying to determine where a problem exists.
COM add-ins can be designed to be loaded and to run in one or more Office programs. COM add-ins, which use the file name extension .dll or .exe, can be implemented in any Microsoft programming product (such as Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual C++, and Microsoft Visual J++) or in any third-party programming product that can create COM DLLs (dynamic link libraries) and executable files.
In earlier versions of Office, program-specific add-ins were created in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications and were designed to meet the unique requirements of the add-in architecture of a specific Office program. In Microsoft Office XP, COM add-ins are created in any programming product that can create COM DLLs and executable files. COM add-ins are designed to connect to and disconnect from one or more Office programs by using a new, shared add-in architecture. Office XP continues to support all add-in architectures that were supported by earlier versions of Office.
When you use System Information to view which add-ins are loaded in Microsoft Word, COM add-ins do not appear in the list. Instead, the list contains only the templates and .wll files that have been added.
To view the loaded templates and .wll files in Microsoft Word, follow these steps: