Developing Microsft Word plugins on the .NET platform

OData support
Dr. Mészáros Tamás
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

In today’s world Microsoft Word has became practically monopolistic in the word processor market, thus becoming an essential tool in office and home environments alike. According to Microsoft, its Office suit has more than 750 million users worldwide, so we could easily say that Word has become almost ubiquitous. Besides this, the .NET Framework offers unlimited possibilities in expanding the word processor’s capabilities and automating its tasks.

The subject of this thesis is a package of Microsoft Word integrated modules. My objective when creating these modules was to make practical tools for solving the kind of problems that I had regularly encountered while editing Word documents. One of the main components in the package is a source code formatting module with extensive functionality: it includes, among other things, a customizable and extensible syntax highlighting and a program code indenting module. With these tools source code snippets in Word documents - even if they lack any formatting and indenting - can be converted into high quality, print-ready state with just a few clicks, or integrated with other code snippets, saving significant amount of work time when creating technical manuals, study-aids and publications related to programming. The other larger component of the package can also prove useful with editing these kinds of documents: it can inform the user about the availability of online resources linked in the document, finding the obsolete links in a few moments thanks to a painstakingly designed URL detection algorithm. In addition to this the package also contains several smaller functions supplementing the ones mentioned.

The finished module package is written in the C# programming language, built on the .NET Framework, making particularly extensive use of its regular expression library, which plays an important role in all of the modules. The integration of the modules into Microsoft Word was accomplished by VSTO 4.0, utilizing the Word Object Model.


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