Microsoft Word Add-ins/Plugin a complete reference

Microsoft Word Add-ins/Plugin a complete reference


A distributed file which can be installed and works based on plug and play concept. The addin contains pre-compiled code with set of features which can be executed once Addin is installed or attached in Word Applications. In this article we will learn how to create a Word Addin step by step:


  1. Word 2013 or above

Step 1: open a blank word document and save as and name it “myTestAddin” as shown below (Select “Word Macro-Enabled Document” from Save as type dropdown)

Once you save, “myTestAddin” adds the extension “.docm” and file name turns as “mytestAddin.docm

Step 2: press ALT + F11 or navigate Developer ribbon tab and click on Visual Studio button as shown below:

It will open Visual Basic IDE where you can write you code as shown below:

Step 3: Insert a code Module

  • Navigate Insert menu (refer below screenshot)
  • Select Module

A blank module will be inserted with “Module1” name. Each module has its own extension which can be identified by “.bas“:

Step 4: Write a simple code to say Hi by putting this code ins Code area:

Public Sub SayHi()
    MsgBox "Hi there this is my first Addin"
End Sub

Step 5: Navigate back to Word document and do followings:

  • Navigate File Menu (figure 1.1)
  • Select Options
  • Select Customize Ribbon from Word Options dialog (refer figure 1.2 point (1))
  • Select the last tab under Main Tabs List (refer figure 1.2 point (2))
  • Click on New Tab button (refer figure 1.2 point (3))
  • A new tab will be inserted at the end
  • Click on Rename… button (refer figure 1.2 point (4))
  • A popup prompts asking name type the name you want
  • Next Add a group by clicking New Group button (refer figure 1.2 point (5))
  • Click on Rename… button (refer figure 1.2 point (6))
  • A popup prompts asking name type the name you want also you can choose an icon to be displayed on it
figure 1.1
figure 1.2

Step 5: Attach macro

  • Select Macros from Choose commands from dropdown (refer figure 1.3)
  • All available macros would be visible under list (refer figure 1.3 command (1))
  • Select SayHi macro name that we have written in our VB Code Editor (refer figure 1.3 command (2))
  • Select Group which you have created above (refer figure 1.3 command (3))
  • Click on Add >> button to attach macro on the group (refer figure 1.3 command (4))
  • Click Rename… button to rename your button (refer figure 1.3 command (5))
  • Say OK
figure 1.3

The output should look like below:

Click on Smiley button labeled as SayHi and it will execute the code written behind saying “Hi there this is my first Addin” as shown below:

Step 6: SaveAs your file as “Word Macro-Enabled Template” which will create a “.dotm” extension. I am changing the name of my Addin as “VBAOVERALL_Addin” you can choose whatever you want, upon selecting template from Save as type by default Word will take default path of templates “C:\Users\vbaoverall\Documents\Custom Office Templates” on your machine so remember it and say OK:

Step 7: test your job

  • Close the Word application if already opened and Reopen a fresh Word application
  • By default it might open with a blank document if so close the document
  • If you notice everything is closed but still your created Tab “VBAOVERALL Addin” and Smiley button is available.
  • If you click on Smiley button you will encounter an error saying macro cann’t be found it shows that your addin is not attached yet

Step 8: Attach or install your addin

  • Select Developer Ribbon tab
  • Click on Word Add-ins button under Add-ins group (refer figure 1.4)
  • Template and Add-ins dialog appears (refer figure 1.5)
  • Click on Add button under Global templates and add-ins
  • A file explorer will open asking to choose your template
  • Locate the path where you have saved your template
  • Click on template and it will be added under Global template and add-ins list as shown in figure 1.6 make sure it is check to true
  • Click OK
figure 1.4
figure 1.5
figure 1.6

Step 9: Verify your job

  1. Navigate “VBAOVERALL Addin” tab
  2. Click on Smiley button
  3. Wow it show your message which you wrote code behind

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