How to: Convert a word processing document from the DOCM to the DOCX file format (Open XML SDK)

Office 2013 and later

Last modified: March 25, 2013

Applies to: Office 2013 | Open XML

In this article
ConvertDOCMtoDOCX Method
Calling the Sample Method
Parts and the vbaProject Part
How the Code Works
Sample Code

This topic shows how to use the classes in the Open XML SDK 2.5 for Office to programmatically convert a Microsoft Word 2010 or Microsoft Word 2013 document that contains VBA code (and has a .docm extension) to a standard document (with a .docx extension). It contains an example ConvertDOCMtoDOCX method to illustrate this task.

To use the sample code in this topic, you must install the Open XML SDK 2.5. You must explicitly reference the following assemblies in your project:

  • WindowsBase

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml (Installed by the Open XML SDK)

You must also use the following using directives or Imports statements to compile the code in this topic.

Imports System.IO
Imports DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Packaging
Imports DocumentFormat.OpenXml

The ConvertDOCMtoDOCX sample method can be used to convert a Word 2010 or Word 2013 document that contains VBA code (and has a .docm extension) to a standard document (with a .docx extension). Use this method to remove the macros and the vbaProject part that contains them from a document stored in .docm file format. The method accepts a single parameter that indicates the file name of the file to convert.

Public Sub ConvertDOCMtoDOCX(ByVal fileName As String)

The complete code listing for the method can be found in the Sample Code section.

To call the sample method, pass a string that contains the name of the file to convert. The following sample code shows an example.

Dim filename As String = "C:\Users\Public\Documents\WithMacros.docm"
ConvertDOCMtoDOCX(filename)

A word processing document package such as a file that has a .docx or .docm extension is in fact a .zip file that consists of several parts. You can think of each part as being similar to an external file. A part has a particular content type, and can contain content equivalent to an external XML file, binary file, image file, and so on, depending on the type. The standard that defines how Open XML documents are stored in .zip files is called the Open Packaging Conventions. For more information about the Open Packaging Conventions, see ISO/IEC 29500-2.

When you create and save a VBA macro in a document, Word adds a new binary part named vbaProject that contains the internal representation of your macro project. The following image from the Document Explorer in the Open XML SDK 2.5 Productivity Tool for Microsoft Office shows the document parts in a sample document that contains a macro. The vbaProject part is highlighted.

Figure 1. The vbaProject part

vbaProject part shown in the Document Explorer

The task of converting a macro enabled document to one that is not macro enabled therefore consists largely of removing the vbaProject part from the document package.

The sample code modifies the document that you specify, verifying that the document contains a vbaProject part, and deleting the part. After the code deletes the part, it changes the document type internally and renames the document so that it uses the .docx extension.

The code starts by opening the document by using the Open method and indicating that the document should be open for read/write access (the final true parameter). The code then retrieves a reference to the Document part by using the MainDocumentPart property of the word processing document.

Using document As WordprocessingDocument =
    WordprocessingDocument.Open(fileName, True)

    ' Access the main document part.
    Dim docPart = document.MainDocumentPart
  ' Code removed here…
End Using

The sample code next verifies that the vbaProject part exists, deletes the part and saves the document. The code has no effect if the file to convert does not contain a vbaProject part. To find the part, the sample code retrieves the VbaProjectPart property of the document. It calls the DeletePart method to delete the part, and then calls the Save method of the document to save the changes.

' Look for the vbaProject part. If it is there, delete it.
Dim vbaPart = docPart.VbaProjectPart
If vbaPart IsNot Nothing Then

    ' Delete the vbaProject part and then save the document.
    docPart.DeletePart(vbaPart)
    docPart.Document.Save()
    ' Code removed here…
End If

It is not enough to delete the part from the document. You must also convert the document type, internally. The Open XML SDK 2.5 provides a way to perform this task: You can call the document ChangeDocumentType method and indicate the new document type (in this case, supply the WordProcessingDocumentType.Document enumerated value).

You must also rename the file. However, you cannot do that while the file is open. The using block closes the file at the end of the block. Therefore, you must have some way to indicate to the code after the block that you have modified the file: The fileChanged Boolean variable tracks this information for you.

' Change the document type to 
' not macro-enabled.
document.ChangeDocumentType(
    WordprocessingDocumentType.Document)

' Track that the document has been changed.
fileChanged = True

The code then renames the newly modified document. To do this, the code creates a new file name by changing the extension; verifies that the output file exists and deletes it, and finally moves the file from the old file name to the new file name.

' If anything goes wrong in this file handling,
' the code will raise an exception back to the caller.
If fileChanged Then

    ' Create the new .docx filename.
    Dim newFileName = Path.ChangeExtension(fileName, ".docx")

    ' If it already exists, it will be deleted!
    If File.Exists(newFileName) Then
        File.Delete(newFileName)
    End If

    ' Rename the file.
    File.Move(fileName, newFileName)
End If

The following is the complete ConvertDOCMtoDOCX code sample in C# and Visual Basic.

' Given a .docm file (with macro storage), remove the VBA 
' project, reset the document type, and save the document with a new name.
Public Sub ConvertDOCMtoDOCX(ByVal fileName As String)
    Dim fileChanged As Boolean = False

    Using document As WordprocessingDocument =
        WordprocessingDocument.Open(fileName, True)

        ' Access the main document part.
        Dim docPart = document.MainDocumentPart

        ' Look for the vbaProject part. If it is there, delete it.
        Dim vbaPart = docPart.VbaProjectPart
        If vbaPart IsNot Nothing Then

            ' Delete the vbaProject part and then save the document.
            docPart.DeletePart(vbaPart)
            docPart.Document.Save()

            ' Change the document type to
            ' not macro-enabled.
            document.ChangeDocumentType(
                WordprocessingDocumentType.Document)

            ' Track that the document has been changed.
            fileChanged = True
        End If
    End Using

    ' If anything goes wrong in this file handling,
    ' the code will raise an exception back to the caller.
    If fileChanged Then

        ' Create the new .docx filename.
        Dim newFileName = Path.ChangeExtension(fileName, ".docx")

        ' If it already exists, it will be deleted!
        If File.Exists(newFileName) Then
            File.Delete(newFileName)
        End If

        ' Rename the file.
        File.Move(fileName, newFileName)
    End If
End Sub

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