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Word Solutions

Visual Studio 2010 provides project templates you can use to create document-level customizations and application-level add-ins for Microsoft Office Word. You can use these solutions to automate Word, extend Word features, and customize the Word user interface (UI). For more information about the differences between document-level customizations and application-level add-ins, see Office Solutions Development Overview.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to document-level projects and application-level projects for Word 2007 and Word 2010. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

This topic provides the following information:

The Word object model exposes many types that you can use to automate Word. For example, you can programmatically create tables, format documents, and set the text in ranges and paragraphs. For more information, see Word Object Model Overview.

When developing Word solutions in Visual Studio 2010, you can also use host items and host controls in your solutions. These are objects that extend certain commonly used objects in the Word object model, such as the Microsoft.Office.Interop.Word.Document and Microsoft.Office.Interop.Word.ContentControl objects. The extended objects behave like the Word objects they are based on, but they add additional events and data binding capabilities to the objects. For more information, see Automating Word by Using Extended Objects.

A document-level customization for Microsoft Office Word consists of an assembly that is associated with a specific document. The assembly typically extends the document by customizing the user interface (UI) and by automating Word. Unlike an application-level add-in, which is associated with Word itself, functionality that you implement in a customization is available only when the associated document is open in Word.

To create a document-level customization project for Word, use the Word Document or Word Template project templates in the New Project dialog box of Visual Studio. For more information, see How to: Create Office Projects in Visual Studio.

For more information about how document-level customizations work, Architecture of Document-Level Customizations.

Word Customization Programming Model

When you create a document-level project for Word, Visual Studio generates a class, called ThisDocument, which is the foundation of your solution. This class represents the document that is associated with your solution, and it provides a starting point for writing your code.

For more information about the ThisDocument class and other features you can use in a document-level project, see Programming Document-Level Customizations.

An application-level add-in for Microsoft Office Word consists of an assembly that is loaded by Word. The assembly typically extends Word by customizing the user interface (UI) and by automating Word. Unlike a document-level customization, which is associated with a specific document, functionality that you implement in an add-in is not restricted to any single document.

To create an application-level add-in project for Word, use the Word Add-in project templates in the New Project dialog box of Visual Studio. For more information, see How to: Create Office Projects in Visual Studio.

For general information about how application-level add-ins work, see Architecture of Application-Level Add-Ins.

Word Add-in Programming Model

When you create a Word add-in project, Visual Studio generates a class, called ThisAddIn, which is the foundation of your solution. This class provides a starting point for writing your code, and it also exposes the object model of Word to your add-in.

For more information about the ThisAddIn class and other features you can use in an add-in, see Programming Application-Level Add-Ins.

There are several different ways to customize the user interface of Word. Some options are available to all project types, and other options are available only to application-level add-ins or document-level customizations.

Options for All Project Types

The following table lists customization options that are available to both document-level customizations and application-level add-ins.

Task

For more information

Customize the Ribbon.

Ribbon Overview

Add smart tags to the customized document (for a document-level customization) or to any open document (for an application-level add-in).

How to: Add Smart Tags to Word Documents

Add Windows Forms controls or extended Word controls to the customized document (for a document-level customization) or to any open document (for an application-level add-in).

How to: Add Windows Forms Controls to Office Documents

How to: Add Content Controls to Word Documents

How to: Add Bookmark Controls to Word Documents

Options for Document-Level Customizations

The following table lists customization options that are available only to document-level customizations.

Task

For more information

Add an actions pane to the document.

Actions Pane Overview

How to: Add an Actions Pane to Word Documents

Add extended XMLNode and XMLNodes controls to the document surface.

How to: Add XMLNode Controls to Word Documents

How to: Add XMLNodes Controls to Word Documents

Options for Application-Level Add-ins

The following table lists customization options that are available only to application-level add-ins.

Task

For more information

Create a custom task pane.

Custom Task Panes Overview

Related Topics

Title

Description

Word Object Model Overview

Provides an overview of the main types provided by the Word object model.

Automating Word by Using Extended Objects

Provides information about extended objects (provided by the Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime) that you can use in Word solutions.

Using Windows Forms Controls on Word Documents

Describes how you can add Windows Forms controls to Word documents.

Walkthrough: Creating Your First Document-Level Customization For Word

Demonstrates how to create a basic document-level customization for Word.

Walkthrough: Creating Your First Application-Level Add-in for Word

Demonstrates how to create a basic application-level add-in for Word.

Walkthrough: Adding Controls to a Worksheet at Run Time in an Application-Level Project

Demonstrates how to add a Windows Forms button and a RichTextContentControl to a document at run time by using an application-level add-in.

Word 2010 in Office Development

Provides links to articles and reference documentation about developing Word solutions (not specific to Office development using Visual Studio).

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