Posts Tagged “Office history”

As became apparent in the previous post introducing Web Add-ins, a Web Add-in consists of more than a single file containing the code. Distributing and installing a Web Add-in is more complex than handing someone an Office document containing the code and explaining how to change the settings in the Trust Center so that it can run. Why is this? Read the rest of this entry »

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Those of us who’ve been developing with the Office applications for Windows since they were introduced in the early 1990’s are no strangers to programming language changes. The transition in version 97 from the UI-oriented WordBasic / Excel XLM / AccessBasic languages to the more object-oriented VBA meant not only learning a new language, but making a significant paradigm shift: Read the rest of this entry »

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A poster in the Word for Developers forum has brought a new problem with the Documents collection to light this week. Unlike the one discussed in an earlier blog post, this behavior applies to all current versions of Word, including 2013.

Back when the Internet was comparatively new, Word didn’t know how to handle URLs as paths to files at all. The Open and Save methods of the Document(s) object couldn’t deal with anything that wasn’t a standard local or network path. At some point, this was rectified and Word can quite happily open and save documents to Internet, SharePoint and Skydrive sites.

What Word still can’t handle, however, is a URL as the index value to identify a Document object in the Documents collection. Code such as the following triggers the error 4160 “Bad file name”. Read the rest of this entry »

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When you create a new document in Word, it automatically bases on a template. By default, this will be the built-in Normal.dotm, but it can be any *.dotx or *.dotm file. This document will maintain a link back to the template, enabling it to use Building Blocks, Ribbon customization and macros in the template.

Users and companies provide templates for specific, oft-occurring tasks. In order to make them easily discoverable, they should appear in the interface presented for creating a new document. With the exception of Word 2007, that had an “Office button” rather than a File menu, this interface is accessed via the command File/New.

Up until the introduction of the Backstage in Office 2010, this interface was the File New dialog box. In Office 2010 and 2013, it’s a Backstage view, but in Word 2010 you have to click the link “My templates” in order to access custom templates, which are still offered in the File New dialog box. In Word 2013, custom templates are listed in the Backstage view in the “Personal” list (below), but not necessarily all of them. Why this is, is the topic of this post. Read the rest of this entry »

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One of the biggest problems with Word has always been command discovery balanced against working efficiently. For the ten plus years spanning Word 6 through Word 2003 there were menus, toolbars for various features, as well as the possibility of creating customized toolbars with the commands you needed most. In addition, the toolbars could be positioned freely on the screen. You could also customize the right-click menu.

All of that disappeared with the advent of the Ribbon in Office 2007. Surveys had “proven” that the user didn’t like adaptive menus and things that changed and didn’t drill down through menus. So commands were to be accessed through the Ribbon and those few used regularly could be placed on the user’s QAT. The right-click menu could still be customized, but not without working through the programming interface.

In addition to the Ribbon, some task panes and the right-click menu another interface with commands was introduced: the Mini Toolbar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Once again, a forum question has prompted a topic for my blog. This time, it comes from the discussions about developing for Office 2013.

For many years, a main focus of my work with Word has been related to importing and exporting data into and out of Word documents. The built-in functionality for this has always been “mail merge”. So I’ve worked with mail merge a lot. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really evolved since the early days of Word, around 1990. The only significant change occurred in Word 2003, when OLE DB became a supported connection method to the data source (and the default). Read the rest of this entry »

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There was an interesting question in the forums the other day that piqued my interest. How to create a chart in a WordOpenXML document that will function in Word 2000-2003 (using the converter in the Compatibiltiy Pack), in Word 2007 and in Word 2010. We actually figure it out in less than 24 hours! (That was a day the lightbulb did come on.) Read the rest of this entry »

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