General discussion


Distribute a Word macro across a network

By Mark W. Kaelin Editor ·
This question is being posted by the TechRepublic staff. The response(s) from this post will be turned into an article on the TechRepublic site. This is a winner-take-all scenario and the winner will be the person who provides the best and/or most complete answer in our judgment. If there are multiple correct answers we will select the one that was posted first. In addition to offering a generous amount of TechPoints, the winner will also receive a free piece of TechRepublic gear (e.g. a coffee mug, a desk flag, or another item sporting the TechRepublic logo). This competition ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, May 23. Good luck and let the best techie win!
Here is the scenario: An enterprise has developed an internal Word macro that will manipulate data into a standard form required for further processing and eventual Web site publication. This macro needs to be mass distributed to the entire organization. The distribution will have to accommodate Office installations including 2000, XP, and 2003. What is the best way to distribute this macro without creating a flurry of Help Desk requests from users?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by Joseph Moore In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

Umm, Ok, I'll give this a shot.
I don't thing Group Policy can distribute a macro (I could be wrong though). So, the manual way. (I've done this once, so here is what I did). Not the best way, but at least everyone got the macro!
E-mail out a blank Word doc with the macro in it set to auto-run. Tell folks in the e-mail that if they get the macro signing message (the one that says if you want to allow the macro to run or not, that is in the newer versions of Office), to select Yes.
Also mention that the macro is NOT a virus, that this is a good thing for them to receive.
Also, set the e-mail to send a auto-reply-receipt thing, so you know who at least opened the e-mail.
There are probably better ways of doing this, but since it's just a macro, that makes things difficult, AFAIK!

Collapse -

by sgt_shultz In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

nah, i say it is gonna have to do with sms that fancy 'feature' in 2003...probably way overkill
i think i would export a toolbar and send it to everybody...

Collapse -

by DKlippert In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

Save the macro in an ordinary document, perhaps with buttons to invoke it, if necessary.
The document can be located in any common area on the network.

Collapse -

by agency In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

Have everyone's workgroup templates folder set to the same location and put the macro in a word 2000 template stored in that folder.

Collapse -

by Kitsch In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

why not try this:

using group policy, you could have a script that calls the word document when a user logs on, so they are automatically presented with it - the macro then either auto runs, or the document contains text that tells them to click the button below, invoking the macro. They could save the document to the desktop for use later. : )

Collapse -

by teajay9001 In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

Copy the Project to the Startup Folder
When you place a template (*.dot) or Word add-in library (*.wll) in the Word Startup path, Word loads the macros in the file automatically on startup.

Using the Startup path for distribution therefore reduces administration considerably by allowing you to distribute or update a VBA project with a simple file copy. You will have to use a logon script during network logon, making this process as easy as adding a COPY command to a network logon script.

Collapse -

by zd(SA) In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

The most efficient way to do this (my opinion) is by using the SMS Orchestrator feature from Microsoft. Register the document as a new advertised \ scheduled application in the SMS admin service, activating it for each user on the specified domain. In this, a restart should follow for all users to install the new document and to be on the same page. In most cases the SMS service should be a dynamic activation (this was tested in a lock-down desktop environement) and therefore it probably wouldn't be necessary to restart or log-of, I think.

Collapse -

by ian.wessington In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

To ensure that macro's are loaded onto all machines they need to be added to the startup path. This will ensure that all files are loaded automatically whenever a user logs into the system. If you add a 'copy' command to the network logon script you can distribute new macro's or update older macro's with very little administration as all updates take place when the user logs on, no matter which machine they log onto. This is also a very useful way of distributing other items, for example templates.

Also using this method places the new information into the system in a way that takes away the problems of different versions of office. (we do of course assume that the macro has been written to be compatible with all versions)

Collapse -

by r1dharma In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

Setup servers for different regions of the organization. Create client software that will be installed on user's machine. Mail the client software to user's machine asking them to install it pointing to a region specific server. This client software periodically polls the sever for updates. Post the macro to be distributed on the server under "updates" section. Also, post required software images like office installtion images under pre-req software list. Client software when it sees there is an update, prompts user whether he/she needs or not. If Yes, checks what is required for the client machine/app on client machine to install the update (update could be a macro). If any pre-req software is required, it pulls it down to client machine from server/pre-req..later it pulls down the update (macro) and runs/install it on top of the office installation.

Collapse -

by olowea In reply to Distribute a Word macro a ...

This has been done. But it involves the use of Microsoft SMS server.

After the macro has been written and test, a VB script was written to deploy the macro (inside a word template) to target machines. It is the script itself that was pushed to client machine and invoked to run silently (using SMS).

When the script finished running, everyone would be informed via email about the new macro.

Related Discussions

Related Forums