For Managers thinking about hiring a Word developer

Dick Kusleika, a Microsoft MVP for Excel, has written an excellent Excel Consulting Buyer’s Guide [Lene Fredborg, 13-Dec-2021: Removed outdated link to].

Dick writes about Excel, but most of what he says applies to managers seeking a Word consultant, too, with perhaps some small additions:

  • There are lists of Word MVPs on Microsoft's website.
  • For all but very small jobs, make sure your chosen consultant can set up a development environment that mirrors your environment as closely as possible. That means a "clean" computer with the same version of Windows, the same version of Microsoft Office, the same version of Internet Explorer and the same country and date formats that you use. Most professional developers set up virtual machines to mirror clients' environments.
  • Word is a big and complicated application. Most developers have specialities or particular interests. Some develop tools that users use within Word to help them create documents (for example a tool that helps users format documents according to the company standards). Some develop tools to create Word documents from outside Word (for example, a tool that generates documents from a database). Find a consultant whose experience matches your needs and who has development experience in the version of Word your users are using.