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Working with Document Objects

Last modified: September 17, 2013

Applies to: Office 2013 | Word 2013

In this article
Creating a new document
Opening a document
Saving an existing document
Saving a new document
Closing documents
Activating a document
Determining if a document is open
Referring to the active document

In Microsoft Visual Basic, the methods for modifying files are methods of the Document object or the Documents collection. This topic includes Visual Basic examples related to the following tasks:

The Documents collection includes all of the open documents. To create a new document, use the Add method to add a Document object to the Documents collection. The following instruction creates a document.

Documents.Add

A better way to create a document is to assign the return value to an object variable. The Add method returns a Document object that refers to the new document. In the following example, the Document object returned by the Add method is assigned to an object variable. Then, several properties and methods of the Document object are set. You can easily control the new document using an object variable.

Sub NewSampleDoc() 
    Dim docNew As Document 
    Set docNew = Documents.Add 
    With docNew 
        .Content.Font.Name = "Tahoma" 
        .SaveAs FileName:="Sample.doc" 
    End With 
End Sub

To open an existing document, use the Open method with the Documents collection. The following instruction opens a document named Sample.doc located in the MyFolder folder.

Sub OpenDocument() 
    Documents.Open FileName:="C:\MyFolder\Sample.doc" 
End Sub

To save a single document, use the Save method with the Document object. The following instruction saves the document named Sales.doc.

Sub SaveDocument() 
    Documents("Sales.doc").Save 
End Sub

You can save all open documents by applying the Save method to the Documents collection. The following instruction saves all open documents.

Sub SaveAllOpenDocuments() 
    Documents.Save 
End Sub

To save a single document, use the SaveAs2 method with a Document object. The following instruction saves the active document as "Temp.doc" in the current folder.

Sub SaveNewDocument() 
    ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:="Temp.doc" 
End Sub

The FileName argument can include only the file name or the complete path (for example, "C:\Documents\Temporary File.doc").

To close a single document, use the Close method with a Document object. The following instruction closes and saves the document named Sales.doc.

Sub CloseDocument() 
    Documents("Sales.doc").Close SaveChanges:=wdSaveChanges 
End Sub

You can close all open documents by applying the Close method of the Documents collection. The following instruction closes all documents without saving changes.

Sub CloseAllDocuments() 
    Documents.Close SaveChanges:=wdDoNotSaveChanges 
End Sub

The following example prompts the user to save each document before the document is closed.

Sub PromptToSaveAndClose() 
    Dim doc As Document 
    For Each doc In Documents 
        doc.Close SaveChanges:=wdPromptToSaveChanges 
    Next 
End Sub

To change the active document, use the Activate method with a Document object. The following instruction activates the open document named Sales.doc.

Sub ActivateDocument() 
    Documents("Sales.doc").Activate 
End Sub

To determine if a document is open, you can enumerate the Documents collection by using a For Each...Next statement. The following example activates the document named Sample.doc if the document is open, or opens Sample.doc if it is not currently open.

Sub ActivateOrOpenDocument() 
    Dim doc As Document 
    Dim docFound As Boolean 
 
    For Each doc In Documents 
        If InStr(1, doc.Name, "sample.doc", 1) Then 
            doc.Activate 
            docFound = True 
            Exit For 
        Else 
            docFound = False 
        End If 
    Next doc 
 
    If docFound = False Then Documents.Open FileName:="Sample.doc" 
End Sub

Instead of referring to a document by name or by index number—for example, Documents("Sales.doc") —the ActiveDocument property returns a Document object that refers to the active document (the document with the focus). The following example displays the name of the active document, or if there are no documents open, it displays a message.

Sub ActiveDocumentName() 
    If Documents.Count >= 1 Then 
        MsgBox ActiveDocument.Name 
    Else 
        MsgBox "No documents are open" 
    End If 
End Sub
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