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How do I use a template saved as a resource in Visual Studio 2013?

Posted on 2016-09-15
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Last Modified: 2016-09-20
Windows Forms Application - Visual Studio 2013  Using vb.net.

I have a template that I use to produce a form.  I generate it by using this code:

Dim oWord As Word.Application
Dim oDoc As Word.Document
Dim oTable As Word.Table
oWord = New Word.Application
oWord.Visible = True
oDoc = oWord.Documents.Add("C:\Users\kawilso1\Documents\WSTF489.dotx")

Everything works fine.  I now find myself having to deal with our IT department moving my file locations on a more frequent basis.  I have decided to add my templates as a resource within my application in hope to resolve this situation.

I add my Word template to Resources as an existing file.  Now I want to use it.  I use this code:
Dim oWord As Word.Application
Dim oDoc As Word.Document
Dim oTable As Word.Table
oWord = New Word.Application
oWord.Visible = True
oDoc = oWord.Documents.Add(My.Resources.WSTF489)

I get an error:  Type mismatch.  (Exception from HRESULT:  0X8002005 (DISP_E_TYPEMISMATCH))

I would appreciate any direction or instruction on how to solve this.
Thanks.
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Question by:Karen Wilson
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13 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Rgonzo1971
ID: 41799845
HI,

I think you have to extract it on disk to open it subsequently

or maybe by referencing it
Dim oDot As Word.Document
oDot = My.Resources.WSTF489

Open in new window


Regards
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Author Comment

by:Karen Wilson
ID: 41799877
That does not work.
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Expert Comment

by:Rgonzo1971
ID: 41799885
Sorry cannot help further
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Expert Comment

by:Gautham Janardhan
ID: 41806436
This will work

Dim oWord As Word.Application
        Dim oDoc As Word.Document
        Dim oTable As Word.Table
        oWord = New Word.Application
        oWord.Visible = True
        Dim bytes = My.Resources.Resource1.WSTF489
        Dim path As String

        path = "some path you have access to.dotx"

        System.IO.File.WriteAllBytes(path, bytes)

        oDoc = oWord.Documents.Add(path)

Open in new window

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Expert Comment

by:ste5an
ID: 41806479
Everything works fine.  I now find myself having to deal with our IT department moving my file locations on a more frequent basis.

Why does this matter? Just use relative paths and a proper folder structure in your deployed project.

Using the resource path has a code smell: You need to deploy a new version for ever template change..
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Author Comment

by:Karen Wilson
ID: 41806491
ste5an - I'd like to package this up and send it off to other groups within the agency that don't necessarily have access to the file location due to security reasons.  I feel that if I could include the template in the resources, I could eliminate this problem.  Does that make sense?  And I guess I don't understand "proper folder structure in your deployed project."  Can you expand on that as well?  I think I'm doing that, but maybe I'm not.
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Expert Comment

by:ste5an
ID: 41806500
First of all: "Security reasons" I know IT departments which will actively block such an approach of yours, cause it may be an attack vector.

[..]access to the file location due to security reasons[..]
How do they run your application?

Do you use any kind of installer? Or other: How do you deploy your application?
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Author Comment

by:Karen Wilson
ID: 41806509
I deploy it on our network.  If I were to package it and send it on, they would use their network.  But then I'd have to send all the templates and they would have to create like folders etc. on their network.  

I'm also curious as to how this works in general.  If I have a word template in resources, how does one access it to work?
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Expert Comment

by:ste5an
ID: 41806566
Normally you use an installer to pack all dependencies into one setup.msi.

Depending on the installer tool, you have different options. The main two:

- a normal user based installation. Then on each users machine this must be run. Any data files are copied by the installer to %ProgramData%. This is a known location for invariant application data. E.g. your template. The user has no write access to this location.

- a network based installation. This is a two step operation. First the network files are copied to the network location. Then on each machine the installer is run to install necessary .Net or other code dependencies. During this run, the installer writes the share name, where the network files are located to the registry. Then you program uses this entry to locate its data files.
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Author Comment

by:Karen Wilson
ID: 41806586
- a normal user based installation - I would code, "Upon installation, create a read only directory (C:\MyAppTemps) and then copy my templates that are in resources, to that folder."  All my code inside the application would then be pointed to the C:\MyAppTemps folder?  Then if I made a change to the template, I'd do a remove and replace in that directory.
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Accepted Solution

by:
ste5an earned 500 total points
ID: 41806596
No, don't create such directories. That's what %ProgramData% is for. Use %ProgramData%\YourApplicationName\.
Press Win-R, enter %ProgramData% and press OK. For normal users this is a read only location for such data.

The rest is indeed okay. Cause it's simpler to just deploy a template, when necessary, then an entire application.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Karen Wilson
ID: 41806605
Thanks.  I will try it out and see what happens.  Have a good evening!
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