Word Application-Level Add-in Development
Updated: July 2008
The information in this topic applies only to the specified Visual Studio Tools for Office projects and versions of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Office version
For more information, see Features Available by Application and Project Type.
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.
For general information about application-level add-ins, see Getting Started Programming Application-Level Add-Ins and Architecture of Application-Level Add-Ins.
When you create a Word add-in project, Visual Studio Tools for Office 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 Visual Studio Tools for Office features you can use in an add-in, see Programming Application-Level Add-Ins.
For Word 2007, you can customize the UI in the following ways:
Create a custom task pane.
For more information, see Custom Task Panes Overview.
Add custom tabs that appear on the Ribbon.
For more information, see Ribbon Overview.
Add custom groups to a built-in tab that appears on the Ribbon.
For more information, see How to: Customize a Built-in Tab.
Starting in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can add managed controls to any open document at run time.
For more information, see Adding Controls to Office Documents at Run Time.
Starting in SP1, you can add smart tags to any open document or to a specific document.
For more information, see How to: Add Smart Tags to Word Documents.
For Word 2003, you can customize the UI in the following ways:
Add custom toolbars and toolbar items.
For more information, see How to: Create Office Toolbars Programmatically.
Add menus and menu items.
For more information, see How to: Create Office Menus Programmatically.
For more information about customizing the UI of Word and other Microsoft Office applications, see Office UI Customization.