Graham Mayor

... helping to ease the lives of Microsoft Word users.

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Temporarily load Word global add-in templates

Word users, especially those who program on behalf of clients, tend to accumulate assorted add-ins, either for the clients' work or for their own. If they are all loaded automatically, they may conflict - especially if there are multiple client versions of a particular add-in - and so you are faced with the task of reconfiguring the available add-ins for each task, which can get a tad tedious when using the Word built-in Templates dialog.

I therefore came up with a plan to keep sets of add-ins for particular clients, and for my own use, in separate folders and have only a bare minimum, of my essential add-ins I use every day, loaded automatically from the Word startup folder.

The add-in can then be used to easily select one or more add-ins from up to sixteen pre-defined folder locations (all of which are easily changed by a configuration utility) available from the Developer Tab.

When installed as a global template as recommended, it adds a group of two buttons to the Developer tab of the ribbon, where it sits next to the built-in Templates group (see the first illustration below). Because the processes work at the application level, it is not even necessary to have the template installed as a global template. You could instead simply open the template and run the code, but because of the nature of the process, that is certainly less convenient.

This add-in has not been tested in the 64 bit version of Word, and may not work in that version.
Microsoft recommends the 32 bit version for Office for most users, even on the 64 bit version of Windows.

To save restarting Word to clear the temporary add-ins, I have included an option to clear the temporary add-ins from the currently active folder (or all the temporary add-ins).

Before the process can be used, it is necessary to configure at least one folder that contains add-in templates. When used for the first time, or by a different user, or when the program is updated (should a later version be produced) the Configuration dialog is displayed automatically:

Enter as many, or as few, folders as required, however at least one folder must be selected. That can be any one of the 16 available selections (selections 9-16 are available from the tab above the list), though for the sake of aesthetics it is probably better to start at the top.

The red button at the bottom of the dialog clears the registry values used by the add-in and should be used before decommissioning the add-in and at any time you wish to start again from scratch.

Note that it is not possible to select the current default Word startup folder, as the templates in that folder are loaded automatically at Word startup.

Click the ? button on either dialog to get context sensitive help.

Once the settings are updated the main dialog can be displayed:

Select any of the buttons that are not marked 'Unused' and the button text changes to red colour and the list box is filled with the templates from that folder.

Click any of the buttons marked 'Unused' and you will see another dialog pop up in the middle of the main dialog, which provides the opportunity to associate that button with another folder, and label the button.

Note that while you can add folders directly to unused buttons, to remove or vary the association you may re-run the configuration from the button on the Developer tab of the ribbon, or select the errant folder button and click the 'Remove folder allocation' button to the right of the list box.

Above the list box, and below the folder selectors are three additional buttons. The first selects all the items in the list box. The second deselects all the items in the list box and the third uninstalls all the installed add-ins from  the currently displayed folder (and optionally all the installed temporary add-ins from any folders).

To the right of the list a button is captioned 'Remove folder allocation from active (red text) button'. Clicking this button provides the option to remove the folder allocation from a button and thus make it available to be re-assigned to a different folder.

- Click here to download the add-in



Word add-in templates

During a particularly slack period, while laid up with a badly sprained ankle, I thought I would amuse myself by creating an add-in primarily for my own use, to enable me to load small numbers of global templates that are not loaded by default.

The end result I felt would benefit users, like me, who have large collections of add-ins, but only use some of them occasionally, so I have made it available here.