How To Automate Microsoft Word to Perform Mail Merge from Visual Basic

Summary

This article demonstrates how to use Microsoft Word to create a mail-merged document by using Automation from Microsoft Visual Basic.

More Information

There are two ways to control an Automation server: by using late binding or by using early binding. With late binding, methods are not bound until runtime and the Automation server is declared as Object. With early binding, your application knows at design-time the exact type of object it will be communicating with and can declare its objects as a specific type. This sample uses early binding, which is considered better in most cases because it affords greater performance and better type safety.

To early bind to an Automation server, you have to set a reference to that server's type library. In Visual Basic, this is done through the References dialog box. To open the References dialog box, click References on the Project menu. For this sample, you have to add a reference to the type library for Word before you can run the code.

Building the Automation Sample

  1. Start Visual Basic, and create a new Standard EXE project. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add a CommandButton control to Form1.
  3. On the Project menu, click References to open the References dialog box.
  4. Select Microsoft Word 11.0 Object Library to create a reference to the Microsoft Office Word 2003 type library. For Word 2002, select Microsoft Word 10.0 Object Library. For Word 2000, select Microsoft Word 9.0 Object Library. For Word 97, select Microsoft Word 8.0 Object Library.
  5. Click OK to close the References dialog box.
  6. In the code window for Form1, add the following code:
    Option Explicit
    Dim wrdApp As Word.Application
    Dim wrdDoc As Word.Document

    Private Sub Command1_Click()
    Dim wrdSelection As Word.Selection
    Dim wrdMailMerge As Word.MailMerge
    Dim wrdMergeFields As Word.MailMergeFields

    Dim StrToAdd As String

    ' Create an instance of Word, and make it visible.
    Set wrdApp = CreateObject("Word.Application")
    wrdApp.Visible = True

    ' Add a new document.

    Set wrdDoc = wrdApp.Documents.Add
    wrdDoc.Select

    Set wrdSelection = wrdApp.Selection
    Set wrdMailMerge = wrdDoc.MailMerge

    ' Create the MailMerge Data file.
    CreateMailMergeDataFile

    ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
    StrToAdd = "State University" & vbCr & _
    "Electrical Engineering Department"
    wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphCenter
    wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd

    InsertLines 4

    ' Insert merge data.
    wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphLeft
    Set wrdMergeFields = wrdMailMerge.Fields
    wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "FirstName"
    wrdSelection.TypeText " "
    wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "LastName"
    wrdSelection.TypeParagraph

    wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "Address"
    wrdSelection.TypeParagraph
    wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "CityStateZip"

    InsertLines 2

    ' Right align the line, and insert a date field
    ' with the current date.
    wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = _
    wdAlignParagraphRight
    wrdSelection.InsertDateTime _
    DateTimeFormat:="dddd, MMMM dd, yyyy", _
    InsertAsField:=False

    InsertLines 2

    ' Align the rest of the document.
    wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = _
    wdAlignParagraphJustify



    wrdSelection.TypeText "Dear "
    wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "FirstName"
    wrdSelection.TypeText ","
    InsertLines 2

    ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
    StrToAdd = "Thank you for your recent request for next " & _
    "semester's class schedule for the Electrical " & _
    "Engineering Department. Enclosed with this " & _
    "letter is a booklet containing all the classes " & _
    "offered next semester at State University. " & _
    "Several new classes will be offered in the " & _
    "Electrical Engineering Department next semester. " & _
    "These classes are listed below."
    wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd

    InsertLines 2

    ' Insert a new table with 9 rows and 4 columns.
    wrdDoc.Tables.Add wrdSelection.Range, NumRows:=9, _
    NumColumns:=4
    With wrdDoc.Tables(1)
    ' Set the column widths
    .Columns(1).SetWidth 51, wdAdjustNone
    .Columns(2).SetWidth 170, wdAdjustNone
    .Columns(3).SetWidth 100, wdAdjustNone
    .Columns(4).SetWidth 111, wdAdjustNone
    ' Set the shading on the first row to light gray.
    .Rows(1).Cells.Shading.BackgroundPatternColorIndex = _
    wdGray25
    ' Format the first row in bold.
    .Rows(1).Range.Bold = True
    ' Center the text in Cell (1,1).
    .Cell(1, 1).Range.Paragraphs.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphCenter

    ' Fill each row of the table with data.
    FillRow wrdDoc, 1, "Class Number", "Class Name", "Class Time", _
    "Instructor"
    FillRow wrdDoc, 2, "EE220", "Introduction to Electronics II", _
    "1:00-2:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Jensen"
    FillRow wrdDoc, 3, "EE230", "Electromagnetic Field Theory I", _
    "10:00-11:30 T,T", "Dr. Crump"
    FillRow wrdDoc, 4, "EE300", "Feedback Control Systems", _
    "9:00-10:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Murdy"
    FillRow wrdDoc, 5, "EE325", "Advanced Digital Design", _
    "9:00-10:30 T,T", "Dr. Alley"
    FillRow wrdDoc, 6, "EE350", "Advanced Communication Systems", _
    "9:00-10:30 T,T", "Dr. Taylor"
    FillRow wrdDoc, 7, "EE400", "Advanced Microwave Theory", _
    "1:00-2:30 T,T", "Dr. Lee"
    FillRow wrdDoc, 8, "EE450", "Plasma Theory", _
    "1:00-2:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Davis"

    FillRow wrdDoc, 9, "EE500", "Principles of VLSI Design", _
    "3:00-4:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Ellison"
    End With

    ' Go to the end of the document.
    wrdApp.Selection.GoTo wdGoToLine, wdGoToLast
    InsertLines 2

    ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
    StrToAdd = "For additional information regarding the " & _

    "Department of Electrical Engineering, " & _
    "you can visit our Web site at "
    wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd
    ' Insert a hyperlink to the Web page.
    wrdSelection.Hyperlinks.Add Anchor:=wrdSelection.Range, _
    Address:="http://www.ee.stateu.tld"
    ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
    StrToAdd = ". Thank you for your interest in the classes " & _
    "offered in the Department of Electrical " & _
    "Engineering. If you have any other questions, " & _
    "please feel free to give us a call at " & _
    "555-1212." & vbCr & vbCr & _
    "Sincerely," & vbCr & vbCr & _
    "Kathryn M. Hinsch" & vbCr & _
    "Department of Electrical Engineering" & vbCr
    wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd

    ' Perform mail merge.
    wrdMailMerge.Destination = wdSendToNewDocument
    wrdMailMerge.Execute False

    ' Close the original form document.
    wrdDoc.Saved = True
    wrdDoc.Close False

    ' Notify user we are done.
    MsgBox "Mail Merge Complete.", vbMsgBoxSetForeground

    ' Release references.
    Set wrdSelection = Nothing
    Set wrdMailMerge = Nothing
    Set wrdMergeFields = Nothing
    Set wrdDoc = Nothing
    Set wrdApp = Nothing

    ' Clean up the temp file.
    Kill "C:\DataDoc.doc"
    End Sub

    Public Sub InsertLines(LineNum As Integer)
    Dim iCount As Integer

    ' Insert "LineNum" blank lines.
    For iCount = 1 To LineNum
    wrdApp.Selection.TypeParagraph
    Next iCount
    End Sub

    Public Sub FillRow(Doc As Word.Document, Row As Integer, _
    Text1 As String, Text2 As String, _
    Text3 As String, Text4 As String)

    With Doc.Tables(1)
    ' Insert the data into the specific cell.
    .Cell(Row, 1).Range.InsertAfter Text1
    .Cell(Row, 2).Range.InsertAfter Text2
    .Cell(Row, 3).Range.InsertAfter Text3
    .Cell(Row, 4).Range.InsertAfter Text4
    End With
    End Sub

    Public Sub CreateMailMergeDataFile()
    Dim wrdDataDoc As Word.Document
    Dim iCount As Integer

    ' Create a data source at C:\DataDoc.doc that contains the field data.
    wrdDoc.MailMerge.CreateDataSource Name:="C:\DataDoc.doc", _
    HeaderRecord:="FirstName, LastName, Address, CityStateZip"
    ' Open the file to insert the data.
    Set wrdDataDoc = wrdApp.Documents.Open("C:\DataDoc.doc")
    For iCount = 1 To 2
    wrdDataDoc.Tables(1).Rows.Add
    Next iCount
    ' Fill in the data.
    FillRow wrdDataDoc, 2, "Steve", "DeBroux", _
    "4567 Main Street", "Buffalo, NY 98052"
    FillRow wrdDataDoc, 3, "Jan", "Miksovsky", _
    "1234 5th Street", "Charlotte, NC 98765"
    FillRow wrdDataDoc, 4, "Brian", "Valentine", _
    "12348 78th Street Apt. 214", "Lubbock, TX 25874"
    ' Save and close the file.
    wrdDataDoc.Save
    wrdDataDoc.Close False
    End Sub
  7. Press the F5 key and click the button to run the sample.

References

For more information on Office Automation, visit the following Microsoft Office Development support site:
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