Developing with SharePoint 2010 Word Automation Services

There are some tasks that are difficult using the Open XML SDK, such as repagination, conversion to other document formats such as PDF, or updating of the table of contents, fields, and other dynamic content in documents.  Word Automation Services is a new feature of SharePoint 2010 that can help in these scenarios.  It is a shared service that provides unattended, server-side conversion of documents into other formats, as well as some other essential pieces of functionality.  It was designed from the outset to work on servers, and can process high volumes of documents in a reliable and predictable fashion.

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I've co-authored a paper, Developing with SharePoint 2010 Word Automation Services, which is published on MSDN.

Comments (16)
  1. Raja says:

    As always, great post Eric! Thanks!

    Thanks, Raja, it was fun to write! -Eric

  2. Markus says:

    Awesome feature! Does it require certain Office / SharePoint Server (i.e. Enterprise) installations at all? I suppose this is not available in SharePoint Foundation?



  3. Hi Markus,

    The feature is not available in SharePoint foundation.  It is part of the standard and enterprise CALs of SharePoint Server.


  4. David says:

    Eric, thank you for this great post!


  5. Peter Holpar says:

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the detailed instruction!

    Just to add my two cents:

    If you get an SPException when starting the job (job.Start()) that says "There are no online service instances for this application." then you should check if the Word Automation Services service is running (Central Administration / System Settings / Manage services on server).


  6. Deep says:

    Hii Eric,

    Very Nice post, but i would like to know is it possible to update metadata when we convert doc to pdf. Because we do have Doc with metadata. i tried to comvert it works fine but i have to update metadata( custom column i addded in doc library) manually.

  7. Hi Deep,

    From the product team: There is no eventing model, so there’s no way to do this perfectly; however you could have a workflow that converts, then has a delay activity that checks for the convert to finish and does post-processing, though, as a workaround.


  8. Deep says:

    Hii Eric,

    Thanks for your respond. you are right i have to use workflow to update metadata after convert..

  9. Deep says:

    Hii Eric,

    We can solve this problem by using Document Set feature of sharepoint 2010. We can manage multiple documents in single document set.

  10. Mathieu says:


    Your article was very useful to create a conversion workflow.

    But I have a problem if the PDF already exist. I've got an error during upload saying that I must check out my destination file before modify it.

    This is strange because I have change setting with job.Settings.OutputSaveBehavior = SaveBehavior.AppendIfPossible;

    Do you have any idea ?


  11. Deep says:

    Hii Eric,

    How to resolve error " File Containts Corrupted Data " . How to check word file has corrupted data ?

  12. Deep says:

    Hii Eric,

    How to resolve error " File Containts Corrupted Data " . How to check word file has corrupted data ?

  13. Sandip says:


    Your article is very useful for all. it works fine for me for convert doc to pdf. But i need to know this service can useful for add header and footer on document of word 2003 ( Binary file) . I tried open xml to add header and footer programatically. it works fine for word 2007 and 2010. but it does not support with word 2003. I will be very happy if you give some suggetion..

    Thank You

  14. Hi Sandip,

    One possible approach – programmatically convert from word 2003 to Open XML, then add headers and footers, and then convert back to 2003.

  15. Sandip says:

    Thank You Eric,

    I like your concept. But i did not do anything like that but i will try. Do you have something about it??

    I appreciate for respond..

  16. TechCatJmaxi says:

    Hi raja? I am maxi inTaipei lover lake since 2000. The bompido co. is over 2010. The 802.3 of IEEE procdues in network phone. It is very complex of computer system.A system of Microsoft 2010 Sharepoint is clear. How it join ?Does Raja join Microsoft Azure 2010. It is technical blogs' and golbal of America . I decides promotive a AMD server of Seperon . The system will a lots work to set up Microsoft system. Why i choices Seperon as the OS of virtual role. I studied Netbean of JAVA tools last year. I did not join examination of it. I read   former VP of Commercial world Jon that entity , model, and module . I lackes of that . Had Raja scucced Microsoft world certifications. My

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