Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 220607 - Last Review: January 24, 2007 - Revision: 6.4

This article was previously published under Q220607

On This Page


This article demonstrates how to use Microsoft Word to create a mail-merged document by using Automation from Microsoft Visual Basic.


There are two ways to control an Automation server: by using late binding or by using early binding. With late binding, methods are not bound until runtime and the Automation server is declared as Object. With early binding, your application knows at design-time the exact type of object it will be communicating with and can declare its objects as a specific type. This sample uses early binding, which is considered better in most cases because it affords greater performance and better type safety.

To early bind to an Automation server, you have to set a reference to that server's type library. In Visual Basic, this is done through the References dialog box. To open the References dialog box, click References on the Project menu. For this sample, you have to add a reference to the type library for Word before you can run the code.

Building the Automation Sample

  1. Start Visual Basic, and create a new Standard EXE project. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add a CommandButton control to Form1.
  3. On the Project menu, click References to open the References dialog box.
  4. Select Microsoft Word 11.0 Object Library to create a reference to the Microsoft Office Word 2003 type library. For Word 2002, select Microsoft Word 10.0 Object Library. For Word 2000, select Microsoft Word 9.0 Object Library. For Word 97, select Microsoft Word 8.0 Object Library.
  5. Click OK to close the References dialog box.
  6. In the code window for Form1, add the following code:
    Option Explicit
    Dim wrdApp As Word.Application
    Dim wrdDoc As Word.Document
    Private Sub Command1_Click()
      Dim wrdSelection As Word.Selection
      Dim wrdMailMerge As Word.MailMerge
      Dim wrdMergeFields As Word.MailMergeFields
      Dim StrToAdd As String
    ' Create an instance of Word, and make it visible.
      Set wrdApp = CreateObject("Word.Application")
      wrdApp.Visible = True
    ' Add a new document.
      Set wrdDoc = wrdApp.Documents.Add
      Set wrdSelection = wrdApp.Selection
      Set wrdMailMerge = wrdDoc.MailMerge
    ' Create the MailMerge Data file.
    ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
      StrToAdd = "State University" & vbCr & _
               "Electrical Engineering Department"
      wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphCenter
      wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd
      InsertLines 4
    ' Insert merge data.
      wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphLeft
      Set wrdMergeFields = wrdMailMerge.Fields
      wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "FirstName"
      wrdSelection.TypeText " "
      wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "LastName"
      wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "Address"
      wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "CityStateZip"
      InsertLines 2
    ' Right align the line, and insert a date field
    ' with the current date.
      wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = _
      wrdSelection.InsertDateTime _
            DateTimeFormat:="dddd, MMMM dd, yyyy", _
      InsertLines 2
    ' Align the rest of the document.
      wrdSelection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = _
      wrdSelection.TypeText "Dear "
      wrdMergeFields.Add wrdSelection.Range, "FirstName"
      wrdSelection.TypeText ","
      InsertLines 2
      ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
      StrToAdd = "Thank you for your recent request for next " & _
          "semester's class schedule for the Electrical " & _
          "Engineering Department. Enclosed with this " & _
          "letter is a booklet containing all the classes " & _
          "offered next semester at State University.  " & _
          "Several new classes will be offered in the " & _
          "Electrical Engineering Department next semester.  " & _
          "These classes are listed below."
      wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd
      InsertLines 2
      ' Insert a new table with 9 rows and 4 columns.
      wrdDoc.Tables.Add wrdSelection.Range, NumRows:=9, _
      With wrdDoc.Tables(1)
        ' Set the column widths
        .Columns(1).SetWidth 51, wdAdjustNone
        .Columns(2).SetWidth 170, wdAdjustNone
        .Columns(3).SetWidth 100, wdAdjustNone
        .Columns(4).SetWidth 111, wdAdjustNone
        ' Set the shading on the first row to light gray.
        .Rows(1).Cells.Shading.BackgroundPatternColorIndex = _
        ' Format the first row in bold.
        .Rows(1).Range.Bold = True
        ' Center the text in Cell (1,1).
        .Cell(1, 1).Range.Paragraphs.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphCenter
        ' Fill each row of the table with data.
        FillRow wrdDoc, 1, "Class Number", "Class Name", "Class Time", _
        FillRow wrdDoc, 2, "EE220", "Introduction to Electronics II", _
           "1:00-2:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Jensen"
        FillRow wrdDoc, 3, "EE230", "Electromagnetic Field Theory I", _
           "10:00-11:30 T,T", "Dr. Crump"
        FillRow wrdDoc, 4, "EE300", "Feedback Control Systems", _
           "9:00-10:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Murdy"
        FillRow wrdDoc, 5, "EE325", "Advanced Digital Design", _
           "9:00-10:30 T,T", "Dr. Alley"
        FillRow wrdDoc, 6, "EE350", "Advanced Communication Systems", _
           "9:00-10:30 T,T", "Dr. Taylor"
        FillRow wrdDoc, 7, "EE400", "Advanced Microwave Theory", _
           "1:00-2:30 T,T", "Dr. Lee"
        FillRow wrdDoc, 8, "EE450", "Plasma Theory", _
           "1:00-2:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Davis"
        FillRow wrdDoc, 9, "EE500", "Principles of VLSI Design", _
           "3:00-4:00 M,W,F", "Dr. Ellison"
      End With
      ' Go to the end of the document.
      wrdApp.Selection.GoTo wdGoToLine, wdGoToLast
      InsertLines 2
      ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
      StrToAdd = "For additional information regarding the " & _
                 "Department of Electrical Engineering, " & _
                 "you can visit our Web site at "
      wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd
      ' Insert a hyperlink to the Web page.
      wrdSelection.Hyperlinks.Add Anchor:=wrdSelection.Range, _
      ' Create a string, and insert it into the document.
      StrToAdd = ".  Thank you for your interest in the classes " & _
                 "offered in the Department of Electrical " & _
                 "Engineering.  If you have any other questions, " & _
                 "please feel free to give us a call at " & _
                 "555-1212." & vbCr & vbCr & _
                 "Sincerely," & vbCr & vbCr & _
                 "Kathryn M. Hinsch" & vbCr & _
                 "Department of Electrical Engineering" & vbCr
      wrdSelection.TypeText StrToAdd
    ' Perform mail merge.
      wrdMailMerge.Destination = wdSendToNewDocument
      wrdMailMerge.Execute False
    ' Close the original form document.
      wrdDoc.Saved = True
      wrdDoc.Close False
    ' Notify user we are done.
      MsgBox "Mail Merge Complete.", vbMsgBoxSetForeground
    ' Release references.
      Set wrdSelection = Nothing
      Set wrdMailMerge = Nothing
      Set wrdMergeFields = Nothing
      Set wrdDoc = Nothing
      Set wrdApp = Nothing
    ' Clean up the temp file.
      Kill "C:\DataDoc.doc"
    End Sub
    Public Sub InsertLines(LineNum As Integer)
      Dim iCount As Integer
    ' Insert "LineNum" blank lines.
      For iCount = 1 To LineNum
      Next iCount
    End Sub
    Public Sub FillRow(Doc As Word.Document, Row As Integer, _
                       Text1 As String, Text2 As String, _
                       Text3 As String, Text4 As String)
      With Doc.Tables(1)
        ' Insert the data into the specific cell.
        .Cell(Row, 1).Range.InsertAfter Text1
        .Cell(Row, 2).Range.InsertAfter Text2
        .Cell(Row, 3).Range.InsertAfter Text3
        .Cell(Row, 4).Range.InsertAfter Text4
      End With
    End Sub
    Public Sub CreateMailMergeDataFile()
      Dim wrdDataDoc As Word.Document
      Dim iCount As Integer
    ' Create a data source at C:\DataDoc.doc that contains the field data.
      wrdDoc.MailMerge.CreateDataSource Name:="C:\DataDoc.doc", _
            HeaderRecord:="FirstName, LastName, Address, CityStateZip"
    ' Open the file to insert the data.
      Set wrdDataDoc = wrdApp.Documents.Open("C:\DataDoc.doc")
      For iCount = 1 To 2
      Next iCount
    ' Fill in the data.
      FillRow wrdDataDoc, 2, "Steve", "DeBroux", _
            "4567 Main Street", "Buffalo, NY  98052"
      FillRow wrdDataDoc, 3, "Jan", "Miksovsky", _
            "1234 5th Street", "Charlotte, NC  98765"
      FillRow wrdDataDoc, 4, "Brian", "Valentine", _
            "12348 78th Street  Apt. 214", "Lubbock, TX  25874"
    ' Save and close the file.
      wrdDataDoc.Close False
    End Sub
  7. Press the F5 key and click the button to run the sample.


For more information on Office Automation, visit the following Microsoft Office Development support site: (

  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic Enterprise Edition for Windows 6.0
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Word 2000
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
kbautomation kbhowto KB220607
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support