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Posted 28 Jan 2003


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Word Control for .NET

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4.85/5 (50 votes)
28 Jan 2003GPL33 min read
Writing a control to use MS-Word in your own Application like a windows-form.

Sample Image - winwordcontrol.jpg


This control allows you to use MS Word 2000 in your own projects such as a windows form. Of course that's a little "dirty trick". But if you have some documentation to display and you want to use Word for it, here is the solution.


I was working on an internal research project and we developed a tool to teach C++, and there was a problem about how to display the exercises. The main problem was, I had difficult formulas in these descriptions so the only possible solution was to convert the files to PDF or to another file format. With PDF I had a problem, because I couldn't edit the documents afterwards. So, I was looking for an ActiveX or .NET control for MS Word. Finally, I couldn't find one. So I decided to write one for .NET.

How to use the control?

It's almost too easy to use the form. You just need to add a link to the winwordcontrol.dll.  The steps are:

  1. Goto your Toolbox.

    Visual Studio Toolbox

  2. Click right. Select "Customize Toolbox".

    Toolbox Cutomizing

  3. Select the ".NET Components" tab.
  4. Select the winwordcontrol.dll using the file browse dialog. Click OK. After that you will find a new form in your toolbox called "winwordcontrol".

    Toolbox winwordcontrol/winwordcontrol

Drag and drop it just like any other form. The only thing you should know is how to control it. At this moment, there are four methods:

winwordcontrolinstance.LoadDocument(<string path>); 
With LoadDocument you can load all files Word can handle. Please specify the complete path! This is the only method that is probably useful for everyone. All the other methods are not necessary for normal use.
This method closes the actual document. This is mostly not necessary because LoadDocument() can handle multiple calls without calling CloseControl() before.
Preloading. This method should be used if you don't want to wait in the main program until Word is finished starting.
Reactivates all the Menubars.

The control will automatically start Word if it's not already open and it will display the document.

How does this work?

The basic idea is to instantiate the Word application, as everybody knows, with:

wordInstance = new Word.Application();
Now we have the Word application in a separate window. How do we get this window in our control? The answer is ... Win32 API. We need to import some API functions from user32.dll as shown here:
public static extern int FindWindow(string strclassName, string strWindowName);

static extern int SetParent(int hWndChild, int hWndNewParent);

[DllImport("user32.dll", EntryPoint = "SetWindowPos")]
static extern bool SetWindowPos(
	int hWnd,               // handle to window
	int hWndInsertAfter,    // placement-order handle
	int X,                  // horizontal position
	int Y,                  // vertical position
	int cx,                 // width
	int cy,                 // height
	uint uFlags             // window-positioning options
[DllImport("user32.dll", EntryPoint = "MoveWindow")]
static extern bool MoveWindow(
	int hWnd, 
	int X, 
	int Y, 
	int nWidth, 
	int nHeight, 
	bool bRepaint
const int SWP_DRAWFRAME = 0x20;
const int SWP_NOMOVE = 0x2;
const int SWP_NOSIZE = 0x1;
const int SWP_NOZORDER = 0x4;
This is the most complicated part... because it's NOT documented at all. We need a Pointer to the Word window, so we use FindWindow to find it. What's the name of the window? - "Opusapp" Actually, I don't know what this name means, but it works perfectly.
wordWnd = FindWindow( "Opusapp", null);
So, now we can define our control as a parent to Word:
SetWindowPos(wordWnd, this.Handle.ToInt32(), 0, 0,
	this.Bounds.Width-20, this.Bounds.Height-20,
Everything else should be pretty easy and it is well documented in the official documentation for the Word namespace.

Points of Interest

You may be interested in my other projects. Please visit my private homepage If you use this stuff or if you use just parts of it, I would appreciate if you mention my name. ;-)


  • 23.01.03 First release
  • 25.01.03 Update minor changes (performance enhancement)


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The GNU General Public License (GPLv3)


About the Author

Matthias Hänel
Germany Germany
I am a developer with a Computer Science degree. I am programming Visual C ++ for over 7 year now and C# for about 3 years. If you want to know more about me please look at my homepage:

Comments and Discussions

QuestionWinWordControl Pin
Member 1321648328-Apr-20 2:00
MemberMember 1321648328-Apr-20 2:00 
QuestionError when run your example in VS 2012 Pin
Member 769773225-Jan-17 2:03
MemberMember 769773225-Jan-17 2:03 
Questionhow to get the current page number Pin
htft013029-Jan-15 16:52
Memberhtft013029-Jan-15 16:52 
Questionhow can i add merge field within this control? Pin
alexander ocampo hidalgo23-Dec-14 3:47
Memberalexander ocampo hidalgo23-Dec-14 3:47 
Questiondoes not work in visual studio 2012 and not with office 2010 Pin
g_g_4-Jul-14 18:21
Memberg_g_4-Jul-14 18:21 
QuestionHelp, please !!! I can't execute your demo program in my computer. Pin
DUBAR Fred29-Apr-13 5:53
MemberDUBAR Fred29-Apr-13 5:53 
QuestionWhere to found 64 bit version DLL Pin
Pritesh Aryan28-Apr-13 18:29
MemberPritesh Aryan28-Apr-13 18:29 
GeneralThanks a lot Pin
mechanicalsoldier13-Aug-12 18:57
Membermechanicalsoldier13-Aug-12 18:57 
Questionit doesn't work with me Pin
mechanicalsoldier8-Jun-12 13:11
Membermechanicalsoldier8-Jun-12 13:11 
AnswerRe: it doesn't work with me Pin
Babasaheb Dhodad29-Mar-13 0:50
MemberBabasaheb Dhodad29-Mar-13 0:50 
Questionhow to ms word 2007 2010 ? Pin
ubattulga23-May-12 19:51
Memberubattulga23-May-12 19:51 
QuestionIf this leaves open WinWord.exe processes behind Pin
Bernhard23-Feb-12 6:42
MemberBernhard23-Feb-12 6:42 
AnswerRe: If this leaves open WinWord.exe processes behind Pin
hjy121013-Nov-12 6:20
Memberhjy121013-Nov-12 6:20 
Questionwhat are the,interop.word and interop.VBIDE Pin
pmore5915-Dec-11 21:46
Memberpmore5915-Dec-11 21:46 
QuestionNot able to open other Word documents when I open a document with Windowrd Control Pin
Murali Krishna Nakkella12-Oct-11 4:33
MemberMurali Krishna Nakkella12-Oct-11 4:33 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
moslemB12-Sep-11 6:49
MembermoslemB12-Sep-11 6:49 
QuestionPlease Help Pin
Mahendan2410-May-11 19:19
MemberMahendan2410-May-11 19:19 
GeneralWinwordcontrol in VS 2005 Pin
Cesar Almeida24-Jan-11 9:16
MemberCesar Almeida24-Jan-11 9:16 
GeneralRe: Winwordcontrol in VS 2005 Pin
dlz114-Aug-12 5:01
Memberdlz114-Aug-12 5:01 
GeneralDraw table in Extended richTextbox Pin
abhhy0923-Jan-11 20:28
Memberabhhy0923-Jan-11 20:28 
GeneralThe rpc server is not available Pin
Beni Sec2-Jan-11 11:58
MemberBeni Sec2-Jan-11 11:58 
GeneralRe: The rpc server is not available Pin
weilidai200124-Jan-11 3:39
Memberweilidai200124-Jan-11 3:39 
GeneralRe: The rpc server is not available Pin
bramazzotti3-Nov-11 5:44
Memberbramazzotti3-Nov-11 5:44 
GeneralRe: The rpc server is not available Pin
dlz114-Aug-12 4:58
Memberdlz114-Aug-12 4:58 
GeneralRe: The rpc server is not available Pin
dlz114-Aug-12 5:32
Memberdlz114-Aug-12 5:32 

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