How to: Add Commands to Shortcut Menus in Word

This example demonstrates how to add a command to a shortcut menu in Word by using an application-level add-in. The shortcut menu appears when you right-click a document.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to document-level projects and application-level projects for Word 2007 and Word 2010. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

Add the following code to the ThisAddIn class in an application-level add-in project for Word. To run this code, a Word template named MyCustomTemplate.dotx must be located in the My Documents folder (for Windows XP and earlier) or the Documents folder (for newer versions of Windows).


Private MyApplication As Word.Application
Private WithEvents myControl As Office.CommandBarButton
Private customTemplate As Word.Template

Private Sub ThisAddIn_Startup _
(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Startup

    MyApplication = Me.Application


End Sub

Private Sub GetCustomTemplate()
    Dim TemplatePath As String = Environment.GetFolderPath _
        (Environment.SpecialFolder.MyDocuments) + "\MyCustomTemplate.dotx"
    Dim install As Boolean = True

    For Each installedTemplate As Word.Template In MyApplication.Templates
        If installedTemplate.FullName = DirectCast(TemplatePath, String) Then
            install = False
        End If

    If install = True Then
        MyApplication.AddIns.Add(TemplatePath.ToString(), True)
    End If
    customTemplate = MyApplication.Templates.Item(TemplatePath)
End Sub

Private Sub RemoveExistingMenuItem()

    Dim contextMenu As Office.CommandBar = _

    MyApplication.CustomizationContext = customTemplate

    Dim control As Office.CommandBarButton = contextMenu.FindControl _
        (Office.MsoControlType.msoControlButton, System.Type.Missing, _
         "MyMenuItem", True, True)

    If Not (control Is Nothing) Then
    End If

End Sub

Private Sub AddMenuItem()

    MyApplication.CustomizationContext = customTemplate

    Dim menuItem As Office.MsoControlType = _

    myControl = CType(MyApplication.CommandBars("Text").Controls.Add _
       (menuItem, 1, True), Office.CommandBarButton)

    myControl.Style = Office.MsoButtonStyle.msoButtonCaption
    myControl.Caption = "My Menu Item"
    myControl.Tag = "MyMenuItem"
    customTemplate.Saved = True


End Sub

Sub myControl_Click(ByVal Ctrl As Microsoft.Office.Core.CommandBarButton, _
                    ByRef CancelDefault As Boolean) Handles myControl.Click

    System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show("My Menu Item clicked")

End Sub
private Word.Application myApplication;
private Office.CommandBarButton myControl;
private Word.Template customTemplate; 

private void ThisAddIn_Startup(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    myApplication = this.Application;


private void GetCustomTemplate()
    object TemplatePath = Environment.GetFolderPath
        (Environment.SpecialFolder.MyDocuments) + 
    object install = true;

    foreach (Word.Template installedTemplate in myApplication.Templates)
        if (installedTemplate.FullName == (string)TemplatePath)
            install = false;
    if ((bool)install)
        myApplication.AddIns.Add(TemplatePath.ToString(), ref install);
    customTemplate = myApplication.Templates.get_Item(ref TemplatePath);


private void RemoveExistingMenuItem()
    Office.CommandBar contextMenu = myApplication.CommandBars["Text"];
    myApplication.CustomizationContext = customTemplate;

    Office.CommandBarButton control = 
        (Office.MsoControlType.msoControlButton, missing,
        "MyMenuItem", true, true);

    if ((control != null))


private void AddMenuItem()
    myApplication.CustomizationContext = customTemplate;
    Office.MsoControlType menuItem = 

    myControl = 
        (menuItem,missing, missing, 1, true);

    myControl.Style = Office.MsoButtonStyle.msoButtonCaption;
    myControl.Caption = "My Menu Item";
    myControl.Tag = "MyMenuItem";

    myControl.Click += 
        new Microsoft.Office.Core._CommandBarButtonEvents_ClickEventHandler

    customTemplate.Saved = true;



void myControl_Click(Microsoft.Office.Core.CommandBarButton Ctrl, 
    ref bool CancelDefault)
    System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show("My Menu Item clicked");

Robust Programming

You must set the Tag property of your controls when you add event handlers. Office uses the Tag property to keep track of event handlers for a specific CommandBarControl. If the Tag property is blank, the events are not handled properly.

Declare your menu variables at the class level instead of inside the method where they are called. This ensures that the menu variables will remain in scope as long as the application is running. Otherwise, the item is removed by garbage collection, and your event handler code stops working.

Set the CustomizationContext property of the Application object to the same document or template every time that you add or remove a command.

See Also


How to: Create Office Toolbars

Walkthrough: Creating Shortcut Menus for Bookmarks

How to: Add Commands to Shortcut Menus in Excel

How to: Add Custom Menus and Menu Items to Outlook

How to: Add Custom Icons to Toolbar and Menu Items


Optional Parameters in Office Solutions

Other Resources

Office UI Customization