How to ensure (using VBA) that all your Word add-ins are installed in the correct path

Article contributed by Dave Rado

Unfortunately, Word 2000 and 2002 use two Startup paths; the one that add-ins are supposed to be installed in, which is shown under Tools + Options + File Locations; and another one located in the program's installation folder. Even more unfortunately, many commercial add-ins install themselves in the wrong path – or even worse, in both paths, which can result in you or your users having duplicate menus and toolbars, and the unfortunate sensation of seeing double! This causes all sorts of unwanted headaches; for more details see What do Templates and Add-ins store?

To prevent this problem from arising, you could put the following macro into either Normal.dot  (if it's for your own use only), or into an add-in that is installed in the correct Startup path; and you could call it from your AutoExec procedure.

Sub EnsureAddinsInCorrectPath()

Dim WrongStartupPath As String, DecPlace As Long, AppVer As String, _
oAddin As AddIn, Counter As Long, AddinFileArray() As String

ReDim AddinFileArray(100)

'--------------------
'Get the application version
DecPlace = InStr(Application.Version, ".")
AppVer = Left$(Application.Version, DecPlace + 1)
'--------------------
'Get the "Office installation folder startup path" by adding "Startup\" to the Program path
WrongStartupPath = System.PrivateProfileString("", _
  "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\" & AppVer & "\Word\Options", "ProgramDir")
'--------------------
If Not Right$(WrongStartupPath, 1) = "\" Then
    WrongStartupPath = WrongStartupPath & "\"
End If
WrongStartupPath = WrongStartupPath & "Startup" & "\"
'--------------------
AddinFileArray(0) = Dir$(WrongStartupPath & "*.dot")
'--------------------
'Quit if no files found
If Len(AddinFileArray(0)) = 0 Then Exit Sub
'--------------------
'If files found, get all their names and put them into an array
Do While Not Len(AddinFileArray(Counter)) = 0
    AddinFileArray(Counter) = AddinFileArray(Counter)
    Counter = Counter + 1
    AddinFileArray(Counter) = Dir$
Loop
'--------------------
ReDim Preserve AddinFileArray(Counter - 1)
'Now delete or move all add-ins found in the wrong Startup path
For Counter = 0 To UBound(AddinFileArray)
    'First unload the add-in _
    (Resume Next in case the user has removed it using Tools + Templates and Add-ns
    On Error Resume Next
    Set oAddin = AddIns(WrongStartupPath & AddinFileArray(Counter))
    If oAddin.Installed Then
        oAddin.Installed = False
        oAddin.Delete
    End If
    On Error GoTo 0
    '--------------------
    'Check whether the same file is also in the correct startup path
    If Len(Dir$(Options.DefaultFilePath(wdStartupPath) & "\" & _
                AddinFileArray(Counter))) > 0 Then
        'It's in both paths, so delete the file that's in the wrong path
        KillProperly Killfile:=WrongStartupPath & AddinFileArray(Counter)
    Else
        'It's only in the wrong path, so move it to the right one and then reload it
        FileCopy WrongStartupPath & AddinFileArray(Counter), _
                Options.DefaultFilePath(wdStartupPath) & "\" & AddinFileArray(Counter)
        KillProperly Killfile:=WrongStartupPath & AddinFileArray(Counter)
        AddIns.Add Options.DefaultFilePath(wdStartupPath) & "\" & AddinFileArray(Counter)
    End If
Next Counter

End Sub


Public Sub KillProperly(Killfile As String)
    If Len(Dir$(Killfile)) > 0 Then
        SetAttr KillFile, vbNormal
        Kill KillFile
    End If
End Sub

The reason that the KillProperly subroutine is required, as opposed to just using the Kill statement, is covered in the article: How to delete files using VBA, including files which may be readonly.

If you want to be really safe (and if you plan to store the above code in an add-in, rather than in Normal.dot), you could call it like this:

Public Sub AutoExec()
    If LCase$(ThisDocument.Path) = LCase$(Options.DefaultFilePath(wdStartupPath)) Then
        Call EnsureAddinsInCorrectPath
    End If
End Sub

That ensures that if a copy of the add-in that contains this code somehow finds its way into the wrong startup path, the add-in won't try to delete itself.


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