Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition
An Introduction to Programming Word using VBA
By Steven Roman, PhD
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 1999
Pages: 412

Many Microsoft Word users and VBA programmers don't realize the extensive opportunities that exist when Word's Object Model is accessed using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which replaced WordBasic in conjunction with the release of Word 97. By creating what is commonly called a "Word Macro" you can automate many features available in Word. Writing Word Macros (previously titled Learning Word Programming is the introduction to Word VBA that allows you to do these things and more, including:

  • Create custom pop-up menus
  • Automatically create tables from lists
  • Append one document to the end (or beginning) of another
  • Create a toggle switch to change a document from draft to final copy by adding or removing a watermark in the header
  • Generate reports using data from other applications
Not intended to be an encyclopedia of Word programming, Writing Word Macros provides Word users, as well as programmers who are not familiar with the Word object model with a solid introduction to writing VBA macros and programs. In particular, the book focuses on:
  • The Visual Basic Editor and the Word VBA programming environment. Word features a complete and very powerful integrated development environment for writing, running, testing, and debugging VBA macros.
  • The VBA programming language (which is the same programming language used by Microsoft Excel, Access, and PowerPoint, as well as the retail editions of Visual Basic).
  • The Word object model. Word exposes nearly all of its functionality through its object model, which allows Word to be controlled programmatically using VBA. While the Word object model, with almost 200 objects, is the largest among the Office applications, readers need be familiar with only a handful of objects. Writing Word Macros focuses on these essential objects, but includes a discussion of a great many more objects as well.
Writing Word Macros is written in a terse, no-nonsense manner that is characteristic of Steven Roman's straightforward, practical approach. Instead of a slow-paced tutorial with a lot of hand-holding, Roman offers the essential information about Word VBA that you must master to program effectively. This tutorial is reinforced by interesting and useful examples that solve practical programming problems, like generating tables of a particular format, managing shortcut keys, creating fax cover sheets, and reformatting documents.Writing Word Macros is the book you need to dive into the basics of Word VBA programming, enabling you to increase your power and productivity when using Microsoft Word.
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oreillyWriting Word Macros, 2nd Edition
 
3.3

(based on 8 reviews)

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

I'm with Rodney

By Russ Kidd

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

I'm glad to know there were others who had trouble understanding this book. Rodney Mitchal laid out my feelings perfectly, seconded by Tarjei Jensen.

I have rarely been so frustrated in trying to understand a subject that I desperately wanted to learn. As soon as the author said there wouldn't be much handholding in the book, I knew I was in trouble. It reminds me of beginning classes I've taken where the professor has apparently grown weary of dealing with the basics and so announces to the class that he wants to treat the class "like a seminar." Beginners don't need a seminar; they need the basics presented in the same old way they've always been presented with plenty of explanation and clear examples that give the student confidence. Mr. Roman is obviously an expert in the subject, but I disagree with his tough-love approach to his readers.

Based on the comments from other reviews here and from an MS Word forum I frequent, my guess is that this book is excellent for people who already have a fair amount of experience in using Visual Basic or other modern programming languages. I'm an old-timer and the language I know is Basic, which is very different from Visual Basic. I wrote lots of WordPerfect macros back in the 5.1 DOS days before Windows, but that experience doesn't seem to help much in understanding the amazingly complex Visual Basic.

I agree with Tarjei's review comment that this book is still selling probably because it's "the only game in town." I searched high and low and couldn't find another Word macro book still in print, which is pretty amazing given Word's dominance. We could sure use a few reader-friendly tomes on the subject.

 
4.0

Value of Book Depends on Your Understanding of Objects

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

I've not finished reading Writing Word Macro's, but it seems like a fine effort to me. I am not a professional programmer, but in contrast to the reviewer who complains that writing Word Macros is Greek to him, I have 6 or 7 university level computer science classes. I have written programs in Basic, assembler, Fortran, and C++. The object-oriented programming framework is complex and not intuitive. If I hadn't taken 2 terms of C++, Roman's book might have been Greek to me too. Instead, it concisely covers a familar concept applied to the Word environment. Perhaps what mislead those reviewers who gave this title a poor rating is that Roman mixes elementary concepts, such as in Chapter 2 when he answers that question "What is a programming laguage?" with the Object concepts that are described in Chapters 9-20. Except for the discussion of the IDE, I skimmed the first 8 chapters.

 
2.0

Writing Word Macros Review

By Tarjei T. Jensen

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

Of the reviews I have seen here to date, I think Rodney P. Mitchal is the one who hits the nail on the head. He tells it like I feel it.

The book is not very useful apart from listing up the properties and methods of some objects. It does not cover some vital parts of word VBA programming. E.g. there is nothing worthwhile on Word application events.

The reason it still sells is probably that it is the only game in town. All the other Word VBA books are gone.

I found that http://word.mvps.org/ is probably more useful once you get the overview of the various objects that Word has.

greetings,

 
4.0

Writing Word Macros Review

By Mandar Atmasidha

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

I was looking for a book that would help to understand Basic Concepts of Word Macros. I think this book is very good for a person who is new to Word Macros. The book is especially helpful for those who don't have programming background.

 
1.0

Writing Word Macros Review

By Rodney P. Mitchal

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

It Continues to Remain "Greek To Me"

Having read/studied "Writing Word Macros" authored by Steven Roman, I've been able to discern more accurately the meaning behind the phrase, "it's all Greek to me".

If it was my intent upon having read through this manual to then be able to compose macros for the MSWord program, then the purchase of this manual was a serious waste of time, mental energy and money.

I would hate to think that my life and/or my employment stability could be based upon what I was able to garner from having read this book from cover to cover. Needless to say, I would be simultaneously unemployed and "laid out" prior to either burial or cremation, at the funeral home of my choice.

I am not more equipped to construct a simple [or complex] macro from having read through this manual than I would be able to submit a resume touting myself as a "rocket scientist."

I believe that the author would have been more in keeping with what was expected of this manual if he had included more actual, usable examples and/or exercises. I haven't any greater idea as to how to actually apply what I've read to anything that even comes close to being practical with regard to the use of VBA or MSWord macros.

I equate having read through "Writing Word Macros" with having initiated the reading of a novel or the watching of a motion picture with the thought in mind of seeing it through until the end in the hopes of, at the denouement, eventually enjoying the fact of it somehow coming together and making some semblance of understanding.

I hesitate to even think of how "utterly in the dark" I would currently be had I not recently finished a 20 hour course on Visual Basics at my local community college.

At this juncture, I would rather take my chances with one of the manuals alluded to by Mr. Roman in his introduction as "...very slow paced, primarily by padding them heavily with overblown examples and irrelevant anecdotes..." or one of the "monstrosities" that programming manuals are apt to be, and walk away having a sense of having learned something, than to have spent the time, energy and money on a book where the end result was simply and unequivocally "huh?"

For me, from this point on, it's either a "Fill In The Blank for Dummies" or a third party, albeit monstrous tome, published by Que or Sybex. This is, without a doubt, my first and last purchase of any book either authored by Mr. Roman and/or published by O'Reilly Publishing.

 
4.0

Writing Word Macros Review

By Jan Vandrovec

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

Very good. I wrote and edited Word macros for a long time, but this book opens new ideas to me. Although the Czech translation is extremely erroneous, from typing errors to misunderstood concepts.

 
4.0

Writing Word Macros Review

By Roy Savio Athayde

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

I needed a book that would help me get started with writing Word macros. This book has been truly useful, not only in understanding how Word works behind the scenes, but also in helping me to write some useful macros. I have no previous programming experience.

The book is easy to read and without much effort you should be able to write useful macros on your own.

A word of advice: Try out every example mentioned since it is easier to learn by writing smaller macros rather than the more complex ones.

 
5.0

Writing Word Macros Review

By Robert Fitzpatrick

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Writing Word Macros, 2nd Edition:

The perfect book for getting up to speed quick on automating word to work interactively. I picked the book up for converting WordPerfect 5.1 macros into Word for a client. Being somewhat of a VB programmer for web purposes, the book had just the right level of information to get things rolling quickly. The author gave great insight to the solutions you need to write smoother macros and work interactively with users. Now, I can do basically the same thing with other Office applications, such as Excel.

Now, all I need is a complete reference of all the properties and methods in an easy to use guide. Maybe even a VBA reference that covers this type of document formatting syntax. If anyone knows, please pass it along to [...].

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