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Using MS Office in an MFC Application

  • July 10, 2000
  • By Igor Tkachev
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Once I was engaged in the project, whose main features were theh presence of a great amount of the typical forms of input and output generally associated with Office-type applications. The documents were to be filled from a data store, which the program would display via the use of views. It would be extremely desirable that the document template could understand these different data independently. Therefore, we made the decision to integrate Microsoft Office into our application in order to leverage the already built-in functionalty that we were seeking.

To that extent, I present to you this article detailing exactly what steps are necessary in order to integrate Microsoft Office into your Visual C++/MFC applications.

I should also note at this point that one constant problem that I have run into with regards to Office is the unstable nature of the product itself when using it in relation to an ActiveX Document. Therefore, as you look through this article (and the demo) you might see some less than efficient code. An example of a problem that I still have is that even after my application ends, Microsoft Office application remains in memory and can only be removed via the Task manager. If you do solve this problem, please let me know so that I can update this article as well as my own code.

Integrating MS Office

Let's begin.
  1. Via the Visual C++ AppWizard, generate a new MDI application called XOffice. On the third step, it will be necessary to select the Container radio button as well as the Active Document Container checkbox.
  2. In addition, this application should be an Automation server. I have taken advantage of a way offered by Nick Hodapp in his article, Using ATL to Automate a MFC Applicationzz, which can be found here at CodeGuru. Please familiarize yourself with this example and execute all steps of program transformation to the automation server.
  3. Now we shall engage in integrating MS Office. Include a file Office.h with the contents into the project:
    <font color=green>// office.h</font>
    
    #define Uses_MSO2000
    
    <font color=green>// for MS Office 2000</font>
    #ifdef Uses_MSO2000
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSO9.DLL"
    #import "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VBA\VBA6\VBE6EXT.OLB"
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSWORD9.OLB" \
     rename("ExitWindows","_ExitWindows")
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\EXCEL9.OLB" \
     rename("DialogBox","_DialogBox") \
     rename("RGB","_RGB") \
     exclude("IFont","IPicture")
    #import "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\DAO\DAO360.DLL" \
     rename("EOF","EndOfFile") rename("BOF","BegOfFile")
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACC9.OLB"
    
    #else <font color=green>// for MS Office 97</font>
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSO97.DLL"
    #import "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VBA\VBEEXT1.OLB"
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSWORD8.OLB" \
     rename("ExitWindows","_ExitWindows")
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\EXCEL8.OLB" \
     rename("DialogBox","_DialogBox") \
     rename("RGB","_RGB") \
     exclude("IFont","IPicture")
    #import "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\DAO\DAO350.DLL" \
     rename("EOF","EndOfFile")
     rename("BOF","BegOfFile")
    #import "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACC8.OLB"
    
    #endif
    
  4. We shall create a new form, which we shall require further. Select the New Form option from the Insert menu.

    Enter CFormDemo into a field Name. Press the button New located near a Document field and then click the OK button, in the newly appeared form. And once again click the OK button.

    We shall place three Edit Boxes and two Buttons on the new form. In ClassWizard we shall bind Edit Boxes to variables (accordingly CString m_str, double m_double, long m_long).

  5. We shall create handler of the following kind for Buttons:
    <font color=green>// FormDemo.cpp</font>
    
    void NewXOfficeDoc(LPCTSTR,LPCTSTR,double,long);
    
    void CFormDemo::OnButton1()
    {
     UpdateData();
     NewXOfficeDoc("XOffice.doc",m_str,m_double,m_long);
    }
    
    void CFormDemo::OnButton2()
    {
     UpdateData();
     NewXOfficeDoc("XOffice.xls",m_str,m_double,m_long);
    }
    
    We shall add the following code to the beginning of XOfficeDoc.cpp file:
    <font color=green>// XOfficeDoc.cpp</font>
    
    static CString g_template;
    static CString g_str;
    static double  g_double;
    static long    g_long;
    
    void NewXOfficeDoc(LPCTSTR aTemplate,
                       LPCTSTR aStr,
                       double aDouble,
                       long aLong)
    {
     CString   str;
     POSITION  pos = AfxGetApp()->GetFirstDocTemplatePosition();
     while (pos != NULL) 
     {
      CDocTemplate *temp = AfxGetApp()->GetNextDocTemplate(pos);
      if (temp->GetDocString(str,CDocTemplate::docName) 
      {
       str == _T("XOffice"));
       g_template = aTemplate;
       g_str      = aStr;
       g_double   = aDouble;
       g_long     = aLong;
       temp->OpenDocumentFile(NULL);
       return;
      }
     }
    }
    

    Now we are able to create MDI documents by pressing the buttons on the form.

  6. The MFC class ColeDocObjectItem provides the support of ActiveX document. The class can do a lot already, but we also need to teach it to load the documents, which we set up.

    Make the following change into a class CXOfficeCntrItem:

    <font color=green>// CntrItem.h</font>
    class CXOfficeCntrItem : public ColeDocObjectItem
    {
    <font color=green>//...</font>
    public:
     CXOfficeCntrItem(CXOfficeDoc* pContainer,LPCTSTR);
     bool m_isCreate;
     bool CreateItem(LPCTSTR);
    <font color=green>//...</font>
    };
    
    <font color=green>// CntrItem.cpp</font>
    CXOfficeCntrItem::CXOfficeCntrItem(CXOfficeDoc* pContainer,LPCTSTR templ)
     : COleDocObjectItem(pContainer), m_isCreate(false)
    {
     CreateItem(templ);
    }
    
    bool CXOfficeCntrItem::CreateItem(LPCTSTR templ)
    {
     USES_CONVERSION;
    
     <font color=green>// get storage for the object via virtual function call</font>
     m_dwItemNumber = GetNewItemNumber();
     GetItemStorage();
    
     <font color=green>// add AfxOleInit(); in CXOfficeApp::InitInstance</font>
     AfxOleGetMessageFilter()->EnableNotRespondingDialog(FALSE);
    
     <font color=green>// attempt to create the object</font>
     LPOLECLIENTSITE lpClientSite = GetClientSite();
     SCODE sc = ::OleCreateFromFile(CLSID_NULL,
                                    T2COLE(templ),
                                    IID_IUnknown,
                                    OLERENDER_DRAW,
                                    NULL,
                                    lpClientSite,
                                    m_lpStorage,
                                    (LPVOID*)&m_lpObject);
    
     return m_isCreate = FinishCreate(sc) == TRUE;
    }
    
  7. And the last thing to do is to make changes in CXOfficeDoc and CXOfficeView classes for ActiveX document display
    <font color=green>// XOfficeDoc.h</font>
    
    <font color=green>...</font>
    class CXOfficeCntrItem;
    
    class CXOfficeDoc : public COleDocument,
    ...
    {
    ...
    public:
     CXOfficeCntrItem *m_ctrl;
     CString           m_template;
     CString           m_str;
     double            m_double;
     long              m_long;
    
     bool LoadTemplate();
    <font color=green>...</font>
    };
    
    <font color=green>// XOfficeDoc.cpp</font>
    
    CXOfficeDoc::CXOfficeDoc()
    : m_ctrl(0)
    {
     EnableCompoundFile();
    }
    
    BOOL CXOfficeDoc::OnNewDocument()
    {
     if (!COleDocument::OnNewDocument())
      return FALSE;
    
     m_template = g_template;
     m_str      = g_str;
     m_double   = g_double;
     m_long     = g_long;
    
     return LoadTemplate();
    }
    
    bool CXOfficeDoc::LoadTemplate()
    {
     char path [_MAX_PATH];
     char drive[_MAX_DRIVE];
     char dir  [_MAX_DIR];
     char fname[_MAX_FNAME];
     char ext  [_MAX_EXT];
    
     ::GetModuleFileName(NULL,path,sizeof(path));
     _splitpath(path,      drive,dir,0,    0);
     _splitpath(g_template,0,    0,  fname,ext);
     _makepath (path,      drive,dir,fname,ext);
    
     {
     CWaitCursor cw;
     m_ctrl = new CXOfficeCntrItem(this,path);
     }
     if (m_ctrl == 0  ||  m_ctrl->m_isCreate == false) 
     {
      CString str  = "Can not open the doc:\n";
      str += path;
      AfxMessageBox(str,MB_ICONSTOP);
      return false;
     }
     return true;
    }
    
    <font color=green>// XOfficeView.cpp</font>
    
    void  CXOfficeView::OnInitialUpdate()
    {
     CView::OnInitialUpdate();
    
     CWaitCursor wc;
     m_pSelection = GetDocument()->m_ctrl;
     <font color=green>...</font>
    }
    
    So, now we are able to load ActiveX documents automatically. It is quite not bad already. J Pay attention to the fact that the procedures of preservation and loading of our documents work normally too, saving thus the contents of the initial template document. The truth is that we don't need it at all. The only thing that does not work is Print Preview. I was not able to understand it therefore, if someone manages to do it I shall be very obliged to find out about it first.
  8. Now we shall teach CXOfficeDoc class to store and to load only our data and not to ask questions about any data change of ActiveX document itself. For this purpose we shall add methods of OnOpenDocument and SaveModified and bring in the following changes with the help of ClassWizard:
    <font color=green>// XOfficeDoc.cpp</font>
    
    void  CXOfficeDoc::Serialize(CArchive& ar)
    {
     if (ar.IsStoring()) 
     {
      ar << m_template << m_str << m_double << m_long;
     } else       {
      ar >> m_template >> m_str >> m_double >> m_long;
     }
    
    <font color=green> //COleDocument::Serialize(ar);</font>
    }
    
    BOOL CXOfficeDoc::OnOpenDocument(LPCTSTR lpszPathName)
    {
     if (!COleDocument::OnOpenDocument(lpszPathName))
     return FALSE;
    
     return LoadTemplate();
    }
    
    BOOL CXOfficeDoc::SaveModified()
    {
     return CDocument::SaveModified();
    }
    
    <font color=green>// CntrItem.cpp</font>
    
    void  CXOfficeCntrItem::OnChange(OLE_NOTIFICATION nCode, DWORD dwParam)
    {
     BOOL modified = m_pDocument->IsModified();
     COleDocObjectItem::OnChange(nCode, dwParam);
     m_pDocument->SetModifiedFlag(modified);
    
     GetDocument()->UpdateAllViews(NULL);
    }
    
    
  9. The following step shall be the reception of the IDispatch interface of ActiveX document. Let's bring in the following changes to CXOfficeCntrItem class:
    <font color=green>// CntrItem.h</font>
    
    <font color=green>...</font>
    #include <comdef.h>
    <font color=green>...</font>
    
    class CXOfficeCntrItem : public COleDocObjectItem
    {
    public:
    <font color=green>...</font>
    
     int          m_who; <font color=green>// 0 - ?, 1 - Word, 2 - Excel</font>
     IDispatchPtr m_disp;
    
     LPDISPATCH   GetIDispatch();
     void         AttachDisp  ();
     void         ActivateDisp();
     void         CloseDisp   ();
    
    <font color=green>...</font>
    };
    

    I did not want to present the text of the appropriate methods, as it would have taken too much space. They can be looked up in the source texts of the program. It shall be necessary also to bring in the alterations to CXOfficeDoc and CXOfficeView classes listed below.

    <font color=green>// CXOfficeView.cpp</font>
    
    void CXOfficeView::OnInitialUpdate()
    {
     <font color=green>...</font>
    
     m_pSelection = GetDocument()->m_ctrl;
     m_pSelection->AttachDisp();
    
     <font color=green>//Active documents should always be activated</font>
     <font color=green>...</font>
     m_pSelection->ActivateDisp();
    }
    
    <font color=green>// CXOfficeDoc.cpp</font>
    
    void CXOfficeDoc::OnCloseDocument()
    {
     if (m_ctrl)
      m_ctrl->CloseDisp();
    
     COleDocument::OnCloseDocument();
    }
    
  10. Now it's high time to make our automation server intelligent. For this purpose we shall define ActiveDocument and IsActiveDocument properties for IApplication interface and also PStr, PDouble and PLong properties for IDocument interface.

    Is easy to do with the help of ATL Wizard.

    • Workspace->Class View->IApplication->Right button->Add Property
    • Workspace->Class View->IDocument->Right button->Add Property

    The realization of methods can be looked up in the source texts.

  11. The files XOffice.doc and XOffice.xls are the examples of Word and Excel documents. In Word the document initialization of field occurs in event Document_New, which is obviously called from the program. The value of fields is given to the named bookmarks. In Excel the document initialization of cells is made in event Workbook_Activate. It is not quite convenient, but I have tried a good deal of variants and has defined this one (Workbook_Activate) as the best and steady working. As I have already said, the direct call of macro from VBA leaves Excel in memory even when the program is finished.

Downloads

Download demo project - 36 Kb
Download source - 71 Kb






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