Word VBA resources

A list of tools, add-ins, websites and books for Word developers. Most of these resources apply whether you are using VBA, .NET or other languages to access the Word object model.

Tools

  • MZ-Tools by Carlos Quintero
    I couldn't live without these tools. Free for versions for VBA and VB6. Not much for versions for .NET. These tools help me produce better code, faster. Subscribe to the appropriate RSS feed at mztools.com for info on updates.
  • Pixeur by Veign.
    Free. Pixeur is an on-screen colour picker that tells you what colour has been used in a document, web page, PDF file—whatever you have displayed on the screen.
  • Inno Setup by Jordan Russell.
    Free. Allows you to create a professional installer for your Word development projects.
  • VBScroll by Shahin Gasanov.
    Free. Fixes problems of mouses not scrolling in the Visual Basic Editor in Word.
  • SnagIt from TechSmith. Creates sophisticated screen shots. Most of the screenshots on this website were created using SnagIt. (Disclosure: TechSmith gave me a free copy of SnagIt some years ago.)
  • Axialis IconWorkshop from Axialis. Lets you create modern-looking icons for custom toolbars and ribbon tabs. (Disclosure: Axialis gave me a free copy.)

Books

  • Ribbon X: Customizing the Office 2007 Ribbon by Robert Martin, Ken Puls and Teresa Hennig. Wiley, 2008.
    The best documentation on how to customize the ribbon.
  • Professional Excel Development, 2nd ed. by Rob Bovey, Dennis Wallentin, Stephen Bullen and John Green. Addison-Wesley, 2009.
    One of the best books on Office development of any kind that I've seen. Mostly about Excel, of course, but has a great deal to offer Word developers, too.
  • VBA Developer's Handbook, 2nd ed. by Ken Getz and Mike Gilbert. Sybex, 2000.
    Ten years old now, but still very useful.
  • Code Complete, 2nd ed. by Steve McConnell. Microsoft Press, 2004.
    Not about Word development specifically, but about software construction in general. Highly recommended for developers with a bit of experience under their belt.
  • Advanced Microsoft Office Documents 2007 Edition Inside Out by Stephanie Krieger. Microsoft Press, 2007.
    Not really about development (although there's a chapter about VBA). Provides deep descriptions of how some parts of Word works, which may prevent you from trying to re-invent the wheel.

Websites

For people new to programming

Programming in or for Microsoft Word

Customizing the Ribbon in Word 2007 or Word 2010

  • Word Macros and Visual Basic for Applications FAQ at the Word MVPs FAQ site
  • Customizing the 2007 Office Fluent Ribbon for Developers (Part 3 of 3) by Ken Getz
    The third in a series of articles about customizing the ribbon. This article includes two very useful lists:

    • The Ribbon control IDs you need to disable or repurpose certain built-in controls.
      You can disable or repurpose controls on the Ribbon. But for some controls, the control ID you need to do this is not the same control ID you use for other purposes. Ken provides a list.
    • A list of all C#, VBA, C++ and Visual Basic callbacks and signatures for all Ribbon controls. This list is invaluable. The signatures are not the same for each language. This is the only place I've found an authoritative list of signatures for use in creating a COM add-in in VB6 to customize the Office Ribbon.
  • Introduction to the Office 2010 Backstage View for Developers by Frank Rice on Microsoft's MSDN Web site. This article lists all the callbacks and signatures for Backstage in Office 2010 for VBA, C#, Visual Basic and C++.
  • Ron de Bruin's Excel tips No, it's not a website about Word. But Ron has done some great work writing about how to customize the Ribbon in Office 2007 and 2010, and that works in exactly the same way in Word as it does in Excel.