Microsoft Office Word 2003 SDK

Developers that target Microsoft Word are a different breed in some ways. I think they are especially patient, and they are traditionally under appreciated. I have seen so many amazing things done with Word development, and the powerful XML support in the 2003 release has ushered in a new era of developing with this product. In keeping with this important shift I am so very pleased to announce the publishing of the Word 2003 SDK. Yes, you read it correctly. It’s an SDK.

What’s in a name? Well, we published the WordProcessingML CDK for the beta of Word 2003. When I was hired here people were talking about the CDK, and I never had heard of developers using CDK’s before. All I ever used was an SDK. I figured Word deserved a real SDK. The content of the RTM version of the Word SDK is not completely different from the earlier “CDK”, but there are some key changes. We have documented new tools, improved the documentation around the samples, and made some things clearer. Working with the RTM version of the product makes all of this much easier to do, as I am sure you can imagine.

Big thanks go to Mark Iverson, the Word programmer/writer here at Microsoft for building on the fine work of his predecessor to get this done. It is a sign of where things will go with respect to Word developer documentation. It will improve and expand.

 Rock Thought for the day: I was listening to the Black Crowes this weekend. I wonder if the Aussie band, Jet, regularly acknowledges their debt to this band. BC put out some truly great straight-forward rock and roll from the south. Raspy vocals with the same kind of character as Robert Plant, roadhouse guitar licks, and loads of soul. An unforgettable band.

Rock on

Comments (8)

  1. I think that Outlook developers have to be even more patient than Word developers. I had an idea for creating an Outlook add-in for generating meal plans, and was shocked to find how … unexposed Outlook is (you can’t add a button to the navigation pane???), and how … nonexistant the documentation is (you mean I have to use the vba docs in vbaol11.chm?). As far as I can see, the only way to get VS.NET doc integration is to get a 700$-some-odd-dollar office SDK, which will tell me that I can’t do what I want to do. I’ll probably continue with my side project, only doing it as a windows form app with some custom controls and some using Microsoft.Office; goodness…

  2. andy says:

    by the way, where can I down load the Word 2003 SDK?

  3. Andy, thanks for asking!

    We will publish the SDK as a download this week (look for later in the week). We are buttoning up a few details that are required for the download, and then we should be good to go. Take care!

  4. Great Work!

    Two questions:

    – It’s seems that the web page ( ) is not yet updated. Or is "Microsoft Office Word XML Content Development Kit" another Word CDK/SDK?

    – Will the tool wml2xslt (XSLT Inference Tool) be available in the SDK download (later this week)?

  5. Actually, we update the page on Friday (although sometimes we sneak in page changes during the week). We can make the download live before then, but the actual page change at a regular interval.

    I am glad you checked the "XML in Office" page on the dev center, though. This is where I am hoping more people frequent as it makes it easier for us to centralize our information, making it more accessible, predictable etc.

    Let me know how we’re doing (like you have just done!).


  6. max says:

    Thank you very much for the wml2xslt tool. If it works as described it is the tool I seeked for until Word 2003 was released.

    With it document-template customizing (or creating the "seed document" as you call it) can be done by an ordinary user and no xslt developer is needed any more.

    So shifting the "I want that invoice number bold and yellow with blue dots" tasks away from the IT-staff becomes reality.