Word.Application.Options.LabelSmartTags doesn’t work in Word 2010. But there is a workaround.

The problem

In Word 2010, what were known as Smart Tag recognizers have been re-labelled as Actions. At the same time that it got a new name, the feature has been deprecated.

Microsoft advises:

Text is no longer automatically recognized by a smart tag recognizer and will no longer display a purple dotted underline. Instead, users will be able to trigger recognition and view custom actions associated with text by selecting the text and clicking the Additional actions on the context menu. Once the user has moved the IP outside the current paragraph, the text tagging will be cleared for that paragraph. There are changes to the object model to reflect that text marked by a smart tag recognizer will not be stored in the document.

The user can still turn on the recognition of Actions (formerly Smart Tags) at File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options > Actions. But we can no longer read or write the corresponding option in code.

In Word 2010, Word.Application.Options.LabelSmartTags always returns False. And Word ignores any attempt to set it to True or False.

This is really annoying. Precisely because the feature is deprecated we might need to ensure that the recognition of text is off, but we can't do that through the Word object model.


Working direct from the object model no longer works. But we can read and write the setting through the associated dialog box. The following VBA code demonstrates how to do this:

Sub ChangeOptionsLabelSmartTabs()

Dim bNewValue As Boolean

    bNewValue = True ' or False, as you need

    With Word.Application.Dialogs(wdDialogToolsOptionsSmartTag)

        'Set the new value
        .LabelSmartTags = bNewValue

        'Make it so

        'Check that the change was effected
        Debug.Print (.LabelSmartTags = bNewValue)

    End With

End Sub

Related pages

Getting help with calling Word's built-in dialogs using VBA (and why doing so can be much more useful than you'd think) at the Word MVPs site.