Learn how to create an add-on for Microsoft Word using MS Office's Visual Basic Editor.
Creating an add-on for Microsoft Word is a great way to personalize your word processing application. Microsoft Office comes with a built-in add-on editor, in older versions it is called Visual Basic for Applications or VBA; in Office 2007 and later versions, it is called Visual Studio Tools for Applications, or VSTA.
Users can use the editors to create add-ons that are universal and can be used in Word, Access, Excel or they can create specific add-ons that will only be used in one Office application, such as Word.
Among other things, users can make Word add-ons that automatically add letterheads or watermarks to documents, create buttons or new toolbars or install add-ins for specific documents like login or informational pop-up boxes.
Creating a Word Add-On in VBA
In this tutorial, we'll make a pop-up box that will open automatically when a Word document is opened and direct the user to the file where the Word documents are stored. This add-on would be useful for projects that have multiple users as an aid to remind everyone where the project files are stored.
Open Office Word and create a new document.
Click Tools > Macros > Visual Basic Editor.
Under Insert on the toolbar in the VBA Editor, click Module.
Script is used to create add-ons in the VBA editor. The amount and length of the script used varies depending on the type of add-on that is being created. This is a relatively simple add-on, so the script used here is minimal. In the module type in:
Public Sub AutoExec()
MsgBox ("The Project Files are located in the Project A Folder " _
& vbCrLf & Word.Application.StartupPath)
Press the F5 key to bring the new message box up. Press Run in the Auto Exec pop-up box.
Press OK when the message box pops up in the document.
Close the VBA Editor and give the document a name by opening the Save As... option under File.
Save the document as a template in the Word Start Up folder. Word will automatically try to save it in the Template folder, so use the Save pull-done menu to back out of the Template folder and follow the path: Microsoft > Word > Start Up.
By saving it in the Word Start Up folder, the pop-up box will open every time a word document is opened from that shared folder. In order to get rid of the pop-up box, simply go into the Start-Up folder and delete the template.