Create a word processing document by providing a file name

This topic shows how to use the classes in the Open XML SDK 2.5 for Office to programmatically create a word processing document.

The following assembly directives are required to compile the code in this topic.

    using DocumentFormat.OpenXml;
    using DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Packaging;
    using DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Wordprocessing;
    Imports DocumentFormat.OpenXml
    Imports DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Packaging
    Imports DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Wordprocessing

Creating a WordprocessingDocument Object

In the Open XML SDK, the WordprocessingDocument class represents a Word document package. To create a Word document, you create an instance of the WordprocessingDocument class and populate it with parts. At a minimum, the document must have a main document part that serves as a container for the main text of the document. The text is represented in the package as XML using WordprocessingML markup.

To create the class instance you call the Create(String, WordprocessingDocumentType) method. Several Create() methods are provided, each with a different signature. The sample code in this topic uses the Create method with a signature that requires two parameters. The first parameter takes a full path string that represents the document that you want to create. The second parameter is a member of the WordprocessingDocumentType enumeration. This parameter represents the type of document. For example, there is a different member of the WordProcessingDocumentType enumeration for each of document, template, and the macro enabled variety of document and template.


Carefully select the appropriate WordProcessingDocumentType and verify that the persisted file has the correct, matching file extension. If the >WordProcessingDocumentType does not match the file extension, an error occurs when you open the file in Microsoft Word.

The code that calls the Create method is part of a using statement followed by a bracketed block, as shown in the following code example.

    using (WordprocessingDocument wordDocument =
        WordprocessingDocument.Create(filepath, WordprocessingDocumentType.Document))
        // Insert other code here. 
    Using wordDocument As WordprocessingDocument = WordprocessingDocument.Create(filepath, WordprocessingDocumentType.Document)
        ' Insert other code here. 
    End Using

The using statement provides a recommended alternative to the typical .Create, .Save, .Close sequence. It ensures that the Dispose () method (internal method used by the Open XML SDK to clean up resources) is automatically called when the closing bracket is reached. The block that follows the using statement establishes a scope for the object that is created or named in the using statement, in this case wordDocument. Because the WordprocessingDocument class in the Open XML SDK automatically saves and closes the object as part of its System.IDisposable implementation, and because Dispose is automatically called when you exit the bracketed block, you do not have to explicitly call Save and Close─as long as you use using.

Once you have created the Word document package, you can add parts to it. To add the main document part you call the AddMainDocumentPart() method of the WordprocessingDocument class. Having done that, you can set about adding the document structure and text.

Structure of a WordProcessingML Document

The basic document structure of a WordProcessingML document consists of the document and body elements, followed by one or more block level elements such as p, which represents a paragraph. A paragraph contains one or more r elements. The r stands for run, which is a region of text with a common set of properties, such as formatting. A run contains one or more t elements. The t element contains a range of text. The WordprocessingML markup for the document that the sample code creates is shown in the following code example.

    <w:document xmlns:w="">
            <w:t>Create text in body - CreateWordprocessingDocument</w:t>

Using the Open XML SDK 2.5, you can create document structure and content using strongly-typed classes that correspond to WordprocessingML elements. You can find these classes in the DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Wordprocessing namespace. The following table lists the class names of the classes that correspond to the document, body, p, r, and t elements.

WordprocessingML Element Open XML SDK 2.5 Class Description
document Document The root element for the main document part.
body Body The container for the block level structures such as paragraphs, tables, annotations, and others specified in the ISO/IEC 29500 specification.
p Paragraph A paragraph.
r Run A run.
t Text A range of text.

Generating the WordprocessingML Markup

To create the basic document structure using the Open XML SDK, you instantiate the Document class, assign it to the Document property of the main document part, and then add instances of the Body, Paragraph, Run and Text classes. This is shown in the sample code listing, and does the work of generating the required WordprocessingML markup. While the code in the sample listing calls the AppendChild method of each class, you can sometimes make code shorter and easier to read by using the technique shown in the following code example.

    mainPart.Document = new Document(
       new Body(
          new Paragraph(
             new Run(
                new Text("Create text in body - CreateWordprocessingDocument")))));
    mainPart.Document = New Document(New Body(New Paragraph(New Run(New Text("Create text in body - CreateWordprocessingDocument")))))

Sample Code

The CreateWordprocessingDocument method can be used to create a basic Word document. You call it by passing a full path as the only parameter. The following code example creates the Invoice.docx file in the Public Documents folder.


The file extension, .docx, matches the type of file specified by the WordprocessingDocumentType.Document parameter in the call to the Create method.

Following is the complete code example in both C# and Visual Basic.

    public static void CreateWordprocessingDocument(string filepath)
        // Create a document by supplying the filepath. 
        using (WordprocessingDocument wordDocument =
            WordprocessingDocument.Create(filepath, WordprocessingDocumentType.Document))
            // Add a main document part. 
            MainDocumentPart mainPart = wordDocument.AddMainDocumentPart();

            // Create the document structure and add some text.
            mainPart.Document = new Document();
            Body body = mainPart.Document.AppendChild(new Body());
            Paragraph para = body.AppendChild(new Paragraph());
            Run run = para.AppendChild(new Run());
            run.AppendChild(new Text("Create text in body - CreateWordprocessingDocument"));
    Public Sub CreateWordprocessingDocument(ByVal filepath As String)
        ' Create a document by supplying the filepath.
        Using wordDocument As WordprocessingDocument = _
            WordprocessingDocument.Create(filepath, WordprocessingDocumentType.Document)

            ' Add a main document part. 
            Dim mainPart As MainDocumentPart = wordDocument.AddMainDocumentPart()

            ' Create the document structure and add some text.
            mainPart.Document = New Document()
            Dim body As Body = mainPart.Document.AppendChild(New Body())
            Dim para As Paragraph = body.AppendChild(New Paragraph())
            Dim run As Run = para.AppendChild(New Run())
            run.AppendChild(New Text("Create text in body - CreateWordprocessingDocument"))
        End Using
    End Sub

See also

Other resources

Open XML SDK 2.5 class library reference