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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Automate Word from browser?

    Is it possible to automate Word from within a browser? I want to have a web page that has, for example, a Spell Check button that would run Word's spell checker, among other things. Word would be installed on the client machine, so I am not sure how to do this or if it is even possible given that Web Apps are supposed to be sandboxed.

    Also, I need this to work cross-browser, not just IE.

    Thanks for any assistance.

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Since you mentioned sandboxing, you should be aware that if such scripting is possible, it shouldn't be. The ability for a browser script to run an arbitrary executable on the client machine and invoke its capabilities would be a gift beyond priceless for every hacker, script kiddie, and identity thief in the world.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Yes, I suspect as much. However, since I last posted I found that LibreOffice can be automated within the browser, so I was hoping for similar functionality with MS Office.

    I had assumed that things like Spell Check -- using a single dictionary, e.g. Word's -- and creation of Word documents would be common requirements for many Web apps. I know that I can use 3rd-party spell checkers, but wanted to use Word if possible.

    Perhaps this must be accomplished via intermediary means -- web service, etc.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    There are web services that will launch Office programs. I use NetDocuments, a cloud-based document management service. You log in, and open a document from the repository. If Word isn't open, opening the document will cause Word to open.

    However, it seems that you want to "borrow" Word's dictionary to support something you're doing in a web page. What, exactly, are you trying to achieve? Are you just trying to leverage Word's spell checker (among other things) for an unrelated app?

  5. #5
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    I want to automate Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to produce reports of varying types in those applications for a commercial product (currently, client server fat client) that my company has. We have a newer product using new technology (AJAX, HTML5, Java, XML) that I want to replicate some of the features in. For example, if a client brings up a web page in our web app showing a car, they may have the option to export the related information to a nicely-formatted Word document. I would like to retain the interaction with Office products in the web app, if possible.

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Well, this is really outside my wheelhouse, but as I mentioned with NetDocuments, you can get a web app and an Office program to interact. The question here is what your work flow is like. Microsoft's own web apps have no scripting capabilities right now and the best you can do is open a web document in your own installation of Word. I believe they're thinking of adding Javascript support to Office...? Until that happens, I think you'll need to pass information to the installed Word, Excel and PP to get your reports.

    Maybe someone else has more info?

    Good luck, Kim

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