How to Automate Microsoft Word by using Visual Basic to create a new document


This step-by-step article describes how to create a new document in Word by using Automation from Visual Basic.

Sample Code

The sample code in this article demonstrates how to do the following:
  • Insert paragraphs with text and formatting.
  • Browse and modify various ranges within a document.
  • Insert tables, format tables, and populate the tables with data.
  • Add a chart.
To create a new Word document by using Automation from Visual Basic, follow these steps:
  1. In Visual Basic, create a new Standard EXE project. Form1 is created by default.
  2. On the Project menu, clickReferences, click one of the following options, and then click OK:
    • For Office Word 2007, click Microsoft Word 12.0 Object Library.
    • For Word 2003, click Microsoft Word 11.0 Object Library.
    • For Word 2002, click Microsoft Word 10.0 Object Library.
    • For Word 2000, click Microsoft Word 9.0 Object Library.
  3. Add a CommandButton control to Form1.
  4. Add the following code to the Click event for Command1:
        Dim oWord As Word.Application
    Dim oDoc As Word.Document
    Dim oTable As Word.Table
    Dim oPara1 As Word.Paragraph, oPara2 As Word.Paragraph
    Dim oPara3 As Word.Paragraph, oPara4 As Word.Paragraph
    Dim oRng As Word.Range
    Dim oShape As Word.InlineShape
    Dim oChart As Object
    Dim Pos as Double

    'Start Word and open the document template.
    Set oWord = CreateObject("Word.Application")
    oWord.Visible = True
    Set oDoc = oWord.Documents.Add

    'Insert a paragraph at the beginning of the document.
    Set oPara1 = oDoc.Content.Paragraphs.Add
    oPara1.Range.Text = "Heading 1"
    oPara1.Range.Font.Bold = True
    oPara1.Format.SpaceAfter = 24 '24 pt spacing after paragraph.

    'Insert a paragraph at the end of the document.
    '** \endofdoc is a predefined bookmark.
    Set oPara2 = oDoc.Content.Paragraphs.Add(oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range)
    oPara2.Range.Text = "Heading 2"
    oPara2.Format.SpaceAfter = 6

    'Insert another paragraph.
    Set oPara3 = oDoc.Content.Paragraphs.Add(oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range)
    oPara3.Range.Text = "This is a sentence of normal text. Now here is a table:"
    oPara3.Range.Font.Bold = False
    oPara3.Format.SpaceAfter = 24

    'Insert a 3 x 5 table, fill it with data and make the first row
    Dim r As Integer, c As Integer
    Set oTable = oDoc.Tables.Add(oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range, 3, 5)
    oTable.Range.ParagraphFormat.SpaceAfter = 6
    For r = 1 To 3
    For c = 1 To 5
    oTable.Cell(r, c).Range.Text = "r" & r & "c" & c
    oTable.Rows(1).Range.Font.Bold = True
    oTable.Rows(1).Range.Font.Italic = True

    'Add some text after the table.
    Set oPara4 = oDoc.Content.Paragraphs.Add(oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range)
    oPara4.Range.Text = "And here's another table:"
    oPara4.Format.SpaceAfter = 24

    'Insert a 5 x 2 table, fill it with data and change the column widths.
    Set oTable = oDoc.Tables.Add(oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range, 5, 2)
    oTable.Range.ParagraphFormat.SpaceAfter = 6
    For r = 1 To 5
    For c = 1 To 2
    oTable.Cell(r, c).Range.Text = "r" & r & "c" & c
    oTable.Columns(1).Width = oWord.InchesToPoints(2) 'Change width of columns 1 & 2.
    oTable.Columns(2).Width = oWord.InchesToPoints(3)

    'Keep inserting text. When you get to 7 inches from top of the
    'document, insert a hard page break.
    Pos = oWord.InchesToPoints(7)
    Set oRng = oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range
    oRng.ParagraphFormat.SpaceAfter = 6
    oRng.InsertAfter "A line of text"
    Loop While Pos >= oRng.Information(wdVerticalPositionRelativeToPage)
    oRng.Collapse (wdCollapseEnd)
    oRng.InsertBreak wdPageBreak
    oRng.Collapse wdCollapseEnd
    oRng.InsertAfter "We're now on page 2. Here's my chart:"

    'Insert a chart and change the chart.
    Set oShape = oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range.InlineShapes.AddOLEObject( _
    ClassType:="MSGraph.Chart.8", FileName _
    :="", LinkToFile:=False, DisplayAsIcon:=False)
    Set oChart = oShape.OLEFormat.Object
    oChart.charttype = 4 'xlLine = 4
    '... If desired, you can proceed from here using the Microsoft Graph
    'Object model on the oChart object to make additional changes to the
    oShape.Width = oWord.InchesToPoints(6.25)
    oShape.Height = oWord.InchesToPoints(3.57)

    'Add text after the chart.
    Set oRng = oDoc.Bookmarks("\endofdoc").Range
    oRng.InsertAfter "THE END."

    'All done. Unload this form.
    Unload Me
  5. Press F5 to run the program and then click Command1.
After the code completes, examine the document that was created for you. The document contains two pages of formatted paragraphs, tables, and a chart.

Use a Template

If you are using Automation to build documents that are all in a common format, you can benefit from starting the process with a new document that is based on a preformatted template. Using a template with your Word Automation client has two significant advantages over building a document from nothing:
  • You can have greater control over the formatting and placement of objects throughout your documents.
  • You can build your documents with less code.
By using a template, you can fine-tune the placement of tables, paragraphs, and other objects within the document, as well as include formatting on those objects. By using Automation, you can create a new document based on your template with code such as the following:
oWord.Documents.Add "<Path to your template>\"
In your template, you can define bookmarks so that your Automation client can fill in variable text at a specific location in the document, as follows:
oDoc.Bookmarks("MyBookmark").Range.Text = "Some Text Here"
Another advantage to using a template is that you can create and store formatting styles that you wish to apply at run time, as follows:
oDoc.Bookmarks("MyBookmark").Range.Style = "MyStyle"
oWord.Selection.Style = "MyStyle"


For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
220607 How To Automate Microsoft Word to Perform Mail Merge from Visual Basic
285332 How To Automate Word 2002 with Visual Basic to Create a Mail Merge
285333 INFO: Word 2002 MailMerge Event Code Demonstration
For more information, see the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web sites:
Microsoft Office Development with Visual Studio
(c) Microsoft Corporation 2001, All Rights Reserved. Contributions by Lori B. Turner, Microsoft Corporation.


Article ID: 313193 - Last Review: Mar 23, 2009 - Revision: 1