Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- First, you are going to create an object that is a handle to Microsoft Word. Microsoft Windows will actually open Word as though you clicked on it from the start menu.
- Next, you'll need to know what you can call using this object, because you won't receive any auto-complete hints. An easy way to find out what to call is to open Microsoft Word and create a macro. You can then look at the macro to see what it did. To do so, open a Microsoft Word document and click Tools -> Macros -> Record new macro. In practice, there's more to it than that because Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros often use named parameters, instead of positional parameters.
- Recorded VBA macros include all possible parameters for most calls, even when specifying default values. This is helpful since it allows you to use less-complicated calls from LotusScript.
Here is an example of a Microsoft Word interoperability agent. My first step was to write some LotusScript code to open Microsoft Word, and then make it visible:
Dim wApp As Variant Set wApp = CreateObject("Word.application") wApp.Visible = True
Note: If the Microsoft Word application isn't visible when the code terminates -- either as requested or through an error -- an instance of Word will remain in memory. To close it, you must go to the processes list in task manager. If I didn't know which type of object to request, I could have looked on the "References" tab next to the agent's code window. This allows you to browse through all the COM objects registered on your system.
I went into Microsoft Word and recorded a macro while I created a blank document containing a table. The macro included the following code:
Documents.Add Template:="Normal", NewTemplate:=False, DocumentType:=0 ActiveDocument.Tables.Add Range:= Selection.Range, NumRows:=2, NumColumns:= _ 5, DefaultTableBehavior:=w dWord9TableBehavior, AutoFitBehavior:= _ wdAutoFitFixed
Next, I migrated the code to LotusScript. The first line opens the blank document with the default template. This template could have been omitted. I didn't include the other parameters:
The next line is trickier. Because I'm unfamiliar with Microsoft Word's object model, I had to guess. I'm not concerned with the specifics, so I assumed that there would be an override -- taking only the number of rows and columns. This didn't work, so I included the range parameter again. This also was unsuccessful; therefore, I searched the Web for Word COM tables.add.
My search generated a Microsoft page that described the tables.add method. This confirmed that the range parameter is required. After following the link to the range method page, I found that it takes two parameters. I used the following code, which worked, but created the 3 x 5 tables without any cell borders:
Call xlApp.ActiveDocument.Tables. Add(xlapp.documents(1).range(0,0),3, 5)
I didn't have a Microsoft Word example handy, so I used Excel instead. This should give you a general idea on the method.
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This was first published in August 2008