Automation is a process that allows applications that are written in languages such as Visual Basic .NET or C# to programmatically control other applications. Automation to Word allows you to perform actions such as creating new documents, adding text to documents, mail merge, and formatting documents. With Word and other Microsoft Office applications, virtually all of the actions that you can perform manually through the user interface can also be performed programmatically by using automation. Word exposes this programmatic functionality through an object model. The object model is a collection of classes and methods that serve as counterparts to the logical components of Word. For example, there is an Application object, a Document object, and a Paragraph object, each of which contain the functionality of those components in Word.

You can call the interesting methods and properties that Microsoft Word provides to you to manipulate documents in Word. The best way to learn how to navigate the object models of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is to use the Macro Recorder in these Office applications:

1. Choose Record New Macro from the Macro option on the Tools menu and execute the task you’re interested in.
2. Choose Stop Recording from the Macro option on the Tools menu.
3. Once you are done recording, choose Macros from the Macro option on the Tools menu, select the macro you recorded, then click Edit.

This takes you to the generated VBA code that accomplishes the task you recorded. Keep in mind that the recorded macro will not be the best possible code in most cases, but it provides a quick and usable example.

For example to open an existing file and append some text:

object fileName = “c:\\test.doc”;
object readOnly = false;
object isVisible = true;
object missing = System.Reflection.Missing.Value;
Word.ApplicationClass oWordApp = new Word.ApplicationClass();
EDrawOfficeViewer1.Open(ref fileName, ref missing, ref missing);
Word.ApplicationClass oWordApp = EDrawOfficeViewer1.GetApplication();
oWordApp.Selection.TypeText(”This is the text”);
oWordApp.Selection.TypeParagraph();