Custom Backstage UI for File->New in Word 2010 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I would ike to create a custom backstage UI for the Word 2010 File->New command.

    I already know how to hide Word's New command and add a custom command.

    In the custom UI I want to list out our company's list of Templates.

    I want the list to look like Word's Template list.

    When I click one of our templates I need to be able to handle an event that creates a new document from our template.

    I'm new to using XML to customise the UI - not sure if I should be using layouts, groups, tasks.

    BTW, a Template Preview column to the right of the list would be great too.

    Thanks for your help.


    Tuesday, November 1, 2011 12:11 AM


  • Hi Martin

    I'm afraid your problem description is very general and far-reaching. That makes it difficult to know where to start!

    Could you please describe (or give the exact commands to see) what you're thinking of when you say "Word's template list"? I tend to think in terms of the old dialog box, so I want to be sure we're on the same wave-length.

    Also, I believe what shows in the default view can be customized by companies with an network server and IT in certain aspects. Have you checked into those possibilities in the Office Resource Kit for Word 2010? (No need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, if the capability might already be built-in. I would send you to the TechNet forums but I just did a quick search and it appears the support folks there aren't interested in really researching questions and just spout canned responses <sigh>. So if a "peer" with real experience doesn't happen to look in, you won't get any useful support.)

    Have you worked through the articles on customizing the Backstage UI at

    The Backstage can definitely be defined to use two columns. And the columns (especially the first) can be segmented in a vertical manner. But there are some kinds of controls Microsoft uses that aren't exposed to the developer. So I'm unsure whether you can duplicate the look of what you're thinking of.

    You can definitely create a list and you can definitely have code execute when a member of the list is selected or a button clicked. (If clicking the entry creates the new document, then showing a preview doesn't make sense, because there'd be no way to first select the template.)

    There's no simple and dynamic way to show a preview of the template, the way Microsoft does. You'd basically need to store a static "screen shot" of each template and load that image as required.

    Whether or not you should use "Tasks" depends, I think, on how you intend the user should work with the templates. If it involves merely selecting the type of document and no additional decision need be made (such as, should this be a new document or a new template), then I don't think "Task" would be appropriate.

    "Grouping" would depend on whether you want to break down the list into categories, or whether there are various kinds of things the user can be doing (rather than just one thing).

    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011 8:30 AM