Creating a Word document using ASP.NET and C#

Posted in ASP.NET, C# by Sumit Thomas on June 30, 2004

[tweetmeme style=”compact”]In one of my projects recently, I had to create word documents dynamically using ASP.NET. I turned to MSDN for help and was surprised to find how easy it was to do so.

I am using Visual Studio 2002 and .NET Framework 1.0. Therefore if you are using the latest versions, unlike me 😦 then do check out for the updates in the classes and methods that I am going to use in this article.

1) OK, lets start. Open up Visual Studio and create an ASP.NET Web application using C#.

2) Now we have to add a COM reference to our project. In the references dialog box, under COM you will find Microsoft Word 9.0 Object Library. Select it and add it to the project. This will add few COM dll’s in the bin directory.

3) Now the code…

object fileName="D:\\MyWord.doc";
object novalue=System.Reflection.Missing.Value;

Word.ApplicationClass objWord = new Word.ApplicationClass();
Word.Document objWordDoc=objWord.Documents.Add(ref novalue, ref novalue, ref novalue, ref novalue);


objWord.Selection.TypeText(".NET Rocks!!!");
objWord.Selection.TypeText("Savage loves .NET");

objWordDoc.SaveAs(ref fileName, ref novalue, ref novalue, ref novalue,
            ref novalue, ref novalue, ref novalue, ref novalue, ref novalue,
            ref novalue, ref novalue); 

objWord.Quit(ref novalue, ref novalue, ref novalue);

Now check the MyWord.doc file in the D: drive.

The code is pretty simple and intuitive, hence a quick explanation.

* We are first creating a object of Word.ApplicationClass
* Next we add a Word document to this object. Incase you don’t want to pass a particular parameter, use the ‘novalue’ object that we have created in the code.
* The following steps are pretty self explanatory.

The Visual Studios’ Intellisense feature will let us know of the expected parameters of each method. In the latest versions of .NET framework the number of parameters required is more.

Do check out http://msdn.microsoft.comto learn about automation in .NET

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45 Responses

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  1. Voniak said, on September 9, 2007 at 10:17 am


    I tried this with updated classes from VS 2005 and Word 12.0

    My intention was to implement simple functionality to save search results page as a word document.

    However solution propsed here has one big problem:

    Retrieving the COM class factory for component with CLSID {000209FF-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} failed due to the following error: 80070005.

    After a research I found out that it’s because MS Word wasn;t designed as a server-side application so an local account on server machine WITH appropriate priviledges is required (to set up impersonating in .NET application). However, such a setup can be a serious security issue, so I abandoned this attempt.

    is there anyone who tried this solution and it worked for him (without impersonation setup etc.)?

    • MJT said, on July 24, 2009 at 7:45 pm

      Don’t use impersonation.

      1. On 2003 server, create a COM+ component in VB.Net or similar. Run this under the local account, and set up a dummy Service under the same account to make sure that the user profile is loaded. Always run Word up interactive under the account when setting up to initialise the user settings.

      2. On 2008 server, launch Word via the application pool account e.g. do a RevertToSelf. Make sure the pool has “Load User Profile” ticked in its Advanced Settings

  2. 2leggedspider said, on September 14, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Office applications were never intended for server side use and therefore dont take in to consideration the security issues involved in a distributed environment. Though we can perform automation as mentioned in the post with the necessary security adjustments, it is NOT recommended for live public websites. Perhaps for intranets you might want to try it.

    More information on this would be highly appreciated.

  3. Harold said, on March 4, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Wow. Thanks for this. Very informative. We just signed up with Server Intellect for our Windows web hosting and have never been more pleased — they are one of the first to uprade as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner – to Windows Server 2008 ‘Longhorn’ on all Dedicated Servers – and it includes many upgrades and additions, like new web, security and virtualization technologies.

  4. Yogananda said, on April 8, 2008 at 11:26 am

    it is ultimate concept

  5. smsMantra.blogspot.com said, on May 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm


  6. mindgrillq.blogspot.com said, on May 6, 2008 at 11:05 am

    great one

  7. Kasper said, on August 6, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    OH My!!! .. thanx for this post.

  8. Vitalii said, on December 23, 2008 at 1:43 am

    try Invoke lib for creating docx files http://invoke.co.nz/products/help/docx.aspx

  9. Zakaria said, on January 18, 2009 at 5:03 am

    this is great sln….
    but i can not run it from server….
    how coul i run….
    anyone give me the sln…or how to configure the server for create the doc file…

  10. lexx said, on June 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    How can i change font size and color?

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  12. Bhalchandra said, on October 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm


    Gr8 sln. Thnx a lot.

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  14. rlejason said, on August 4, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I suggest to use a .net word component, I use it long time, quit good.

  15. Delbert Espenscheid said, on December 31, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Great article. There’s a lot of nice information. I did want to let you know something though – I am running Redhat with the latest of Firefox and the layout of your blog is kind of bizarre for me. I can understand the articles, but the navigation doesn’t function so great.

  16. Rajesh Singh said, on February 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Very nice article. I really enjoyed it reading. And it also cleared lot of my doubts about Creating doc file using c# code. Check this link too its also explain very well.


    Thanks Everyone!!

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  21. sandra said, on February 12, 2014 at 8:42 am

    This solution is not recommended, especially for server side. We now have Open XML SDK which is a much tedious approach compared to Office COM (Word Automation), but it doesn’t require MS Word (installed on a production machine).
    And if you need a Mail-Merge solution (populating templates with data) then take a look at this product:
    It only requires several lines of code and templates can be created in Word.

    • Herc said, on February 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Open XML SDK is only a practical solution for building fairly simple documents from scratch. For anything else, such as editing existing documents, it is not just tedious as nigh impossible. It does not provide a mechanism for document format conversion either, and the Office Automation Services are equally impractical – poor functionality and lock-in to SharePoint. Frankly, server-side automation remains a better solution than anything Microsoft has provided since.

      We have moved from server-side Office automation for complex document editing and format conversion to using the Aspose toolset. It has a few issues, but much better anything else I have seen, good support too.

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