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How to: Add Commands to Office Shortcut Menus

Visual Studio 2008

Applies to

The information in this topic applies only to the specified Visual Studio Tools for Office projects and versions of Microsoft Office.

Project type

  • Document-level projects

  • Application-level projects

Microsoft Office version

  • 2007 Microsoft Office system

  • Microsoft Office 2003

For more information, see Features Available by Application and Project Type.

This example demonstrates how to add a command to a shortcut menu in Word by using an application-level add-in. The shortcut menu appears when you right-click a document.

Add the following code to the ThisAddIn class in an application-level add-in project for Word.

private Word.Application myApplication;
private Office.CommandBarButton myControl;
private Word.Template customTemplate; 

private void ThisAddIn_Startup(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    myApplication = this.Application;

private void GetCustomTemplate()
    object TemplatePath = Environment.GetFolderPath
        (Environment.SpecialFolder.MyDocuments) + 
    object install = true; 
    if (myApplication.AddIns.get_Item(ref TemplatePath).Installed != true)
        myApplication.AddIns.Add(TemplatePath.ToString(), ref install);
    customTemplate = myApplication.Templates.get_Item(ref TemplatePath); 

private void RemoveExistingMenuItem()
    Office.CommandBar contextMenu = myApplication.CommandBars["Text"];
    myApplication.CustomizationContext = customTemplate;

    Office.CommandBarButton control = 
        (Office.MsoControlType.msoControlButton, missing,
        "MyMenuItem", true, true);

    if ((control != null))


private void AddMenuItem()
    myApplication.CustomizationContext = customTemplate;
    Office.MsoControlType menuItem = 

    myControl = 
        (menuItem,missing, missing, 1, true);

    myControl.Style = Office.MsoButtonStyle.msoButtonCaption;
    myControl.Caption = "My Menu Item";
    myControl.Tag = "MyMenuItem";

    myControl.Click += 
        new Microsoft.Office.Core._CommandBarButtonEvents_ClickEventHandler

    customTemplate.Saved = true;


void myControl_Click(Microsoft.Office.Core.CommandBarButton Ctrl, 
    ref bool CancelDefault)
    System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show("My Menu Item clicked");

You must set the Tag property of your controls when you add event handlers. Office uses the Tag property to keep track of event handlers for a specific CommandBarControl. If the Tag property is blank, the events are not handled properly.

Declare your menu variables at the class level instead of inside the method where they are called. This ensures that the menu variables will remain in scope as long as the application is running. Otherwise, the item is removed by garbage collection, and your event handler code stops working.

For Word solutions, set the CustomizationContext property of the Application object to the same document or template every time that you add or remove a command.