This utility allows you to work with Microsoft® Word without macro alerts for your known DOC files that contain macros, while maintaining the highest virus security level settings for all others DOC files, thus increasing Word security and productivity. Other features include the ability to specify Word startup and file open options. Supported Word Startup Options: Word version (where more than one Word version is installed), whether to start as a new instance, the startup window style (normal, maximized, minimized or hidden) and finally the ability to start in normal or automation mode (start a new instance without loading any add-in or template). Supported File Open Options: read-only mode, password to open or write document or template, and add to recently used file Word list. This is a useful tool for all Word users, from a normal user thought to power users and script programmers.
Please Note the term DOC File implies any type of Word File (.doc, rtf, .dot, .docx, .docm, .dotx or .dotm)
Basically, Word Free is a small, single file standalone executable that doesn’t need installation. It’s flexible in its application (the way it can be used) and does not change any Word or Windows settings, unless you specify the optional file extension association. The idea is quite simple, instead of directly starting Winword.exe (directly or by file association), WordFree.exe is used to start and control the boot-up process of Winword.exe and your DOC file.
When WordFree.exe is started, it first looks in the command line for an DOC filename and if present will immediately open it without any macro alerts. If WordFree.exe has been renamed it will look for an DOC file with the same name and open it without any macro alerts. If no file name is specified, WordFree.exe will then either act on any command line argument switches or simply start a dialog box allowing you specify options or an DOC filename.
To specify an Word version, if there is more than one installed, and configure its start, keep the Shift key pushed while the WordFree.exe is loading. An alert and then a form are shown with available options. The settings that you specify will be saved in an .INI file in the same folder as WordFree.exe, thus you can have different WordFree.exe copies on your computer with different Word versions and different start settings. You can also specify with priority the Word version and a start setting thru arguments in the command line.
Word Free is flexible, thus you can open an DOC file without macro alert of four ways depending on your specific needs:
1 - Renaming the executable WordFree.exe to the DOC file name
2 - Put the DOC file name as argument in the command line in scripts and Windows shortcuts
3 - Associating file extensions
4 - Through the Word standard open file dialog box
1 - Renaming
the executable WordFree.exe to the DOC file name
Copy WordFree.exe to the folder where the DOC file is located and simply rename WordFree.EXE to the DOC file name (keeping .EXE file extension). When you launch the renamed executable, Word Free will recognize that its name has been changed and will look for and opens the DOC file with the same name.
For example: For YourDocument.doc in C:\MyDocuments, the WordFree.exe would be copied to C:\MyDocuments and renamed to YourDocument.exe. When this renamed exe is launched, YourDocument.doc will be immediately opened in the Word without any macro alert.
Other example: If you as a developer start your application through of a file of name MyApp.doc containing macros. You may rename the WordFree.exe file to MyApp.exe, put it in the same folder of MyApp.doc and create a shortcut on Windows Start Menu for MyApp.exe, when clicked, will open immediately the MyApp.doc file on Word without any macro alerts and also optionally, with a different version of Word and or start settings other than the defaults as set in the windows registry.
Special Names: WordFree.exe has two special names that change the behavior of way Word Free searches for a matching DOC file. These names are “Setup.exe” and “Install.exe”, once WordFree.exe has been renamed to either one of these, the matching DOC file name criteria will look for the first part matching only. In other words, an exact DOC file name match is not required, only the first part need match. Example; WordFree.exe is renamed to Setup.exe and in the same folder there is DOC file called SetupApplication.DOC, The Special filename mode will recognize SetupApplication.DOC as a matching file and launch it.
All of the above features allow you to use a Windows short cut to control the launching and environment of a DOC file in Word. This can also be very useful in the creation of Autorun CD’s or Zip VBA installer packages. See Autorun CD and Zip Installer Package below.
2 - Put the DOC file name as argument in the command line in scripts and Windows shortcuts
In the WordFree.exe command line in a Windows shortcut or in a script (bat, vbs, vba etc.) put the DOC file full path & name after a space. For example:
The WordFree.ini file together the WordFree.exe will define the Word version (if there is more than one installed), and its start setting, but you can still force a different version and start settings by putting arguments before the DOC file name which also supports * and ? wildcard characters and criteria via / Wfc:n argument to filter a single file, if more than one file meets the wildcards. For example, to open the lates saved YourDocument*.doc from C:\MyDocuments\ on Word 9.0 (2000) in a maximized window the command line would be:
...\WordFree.exe /V09 /WSmx /Wfc:4 C:\MyDocuments\YourDocument*.doc
The possible command line arguments here are as follows:
/V08 - Open in Word 97, if installed
/V09 - Open in Word 2000, if installed
/V10 - Open in Word 2002 (XP), if installed
/V11 - Open in Word 2003, if installed
/V12 - Open in Word 2007, if installed
/V14 - Open in Word 2010, if installed
/V15 - Open in Word 2013, if installed
/V16 - Open in Word 2016, if installed
/VExe:"name of the Winword.exe file here" - Path and name of an Winword.exe file in an active drive to be used directly. If you specify just the file name or a partial path, the Word Free will search the file completing the path. First, it attempts to complete from the folder where it is and then from the root of each active drive on the current computer, using immediately the first found (Quotation marks are required if the path and name contain any spaces)
/WSmx - Open with Word window in maximized style
/WSn - Open with Word window in normal style
/WSMi - Open with Word window in minimized style
/WSh - Open with Word window in hidden style
/NewI - Open always in new Word instance
/Automation - New instance clean of add-ins and template
/Psw:"your password here" - Password to open or write the DOC or Template file (Quotation marks are required if the password contains any spaces)
/ReadOnly - Open in read-only mode
/AddToMRU - Add file name to Word recently used file list
/Wfc:n - Criteria to filter a single file when using * and ? wildcards and more than one name satisfy. Where n can be:
0 - To filter the first returned by the VB Dir() function without sorting (random)
1 - To filter the first, if ordered 0-1, A-Z. E.g. abc2010-12-20.doc, if abc2010-12-20.doc, abc2010-12-21.doc, and abc2010-12-22.doc
2 - To filter the last, if ordered 0-1, A-Z. E.g. abc2010-12-22.doc, if abc2010-12-20.doc, abc2010-12-21.doc, and abc2010-12-22.doc
3 - To filter the oldest, if ordered by last modified date saved
4 - To filter the latest, if ordered by last modified date saved
5 - To filter the largest, if ordered by size in Kb on the disc
6 - To filter the smallest, if ordered by size in Kb on the disk.
3 - Associating
You can associate the *.docf, *.dotf, and *.rtff file extensions to the WordFree.exe application. Then you rename or save your desired alert free DOC file(s) with one of these extensions.
Example: YourDocument.doc could be renamed or saved as YourDocument.docf
The association is registered in the Windows Register and there are two ways to make or un-make the file association, method 1 is via the WordFree.exe dialog box and method 2 is via the command line.
Method 1, using the dialog box: Launch WordFree.exe and from the dialog box, click the Associate or UnAssociate button to register or unregister the association.
Method 2, using command line arguments:
/RegF - Associate the file extensions to WordFree.exe in the Windows register
/UnregF - Unsassociate the extensions from WordFree.exe in the Windows register
/S - Make in silence.
Example: C:\Apps\WordFree.exe /RegF /S
The Association will be made to the path & name of the WordFree.exe application. Be careful not to make the association when WordFree.exe is localized in unreliable location such as a CD, removable drive or over a network.
4 - Opening files through the Word standard open file dialog box
As it was briefly explained above, when WordFree.exe is launched, it obeys the following priority sequence to open files in the Word:
(1) Search for a file name passed as argument in the command line
(2) Search for a file in its folder that has same name of its .exe but with .dotm or (3) .dot, (4) .dotx, (5) .docm, (6) .doc, (7) .docx or (8) .rtf extension
(11) Finally, if no file name be found in the above sequence, it shows a dialog box. Click the “Open in Word” button to launch Word with its standard open file dialog box ready to locate a file to be opened without macro alert
Any Word version can be used at any security level (Low, Medium, High or Very High).
Tested in Word for Windows, versions 97 (See Note), 2000, 2002(XP), 2003, 2007, 2010 (32 and 64-bit), 2013 (32 and 64-bit), 2016 (32 and 64-bit), and 2019 (32 and 64-bit) in MSI-based and Click-To-Run installations of Office 365™ cloud-based services.
And see also DOCtoEXE which has some similar features, but with different approach and targets.
Macros are the key for extracting the true power of Word, taking it to an extremely useful work tool capable of powerful interactive and interfacing features with unlimited amounts text a data crunching capability, and unfortunately at the same time open an avenue for malicious software to be hidden in seemingly innocent DOC files.
Many users turn the Word security to the highest level to protect themselves, losing the true power of Word, others use a medium or low level of security to allow these powerful features, however with one careless click of the mouse, the user runs a significant risk of opening a file containing malicious macros.
This is where Word Free comes into play; Word Free can be used to significantly increase the security level of your environment by allowing Word to have the absolute Highest Level of Security Set, disabling all macros from unknown files, while at the same time allowing selected DOC files to run powerful macros seamlessly.
Instead of Word Free, you could use the Word security features to set trusted locations or register trusted macro publishers, however these solutions are not simple or suitable for immediate use. They may require administrative rights and appropriate security levels, and can end up accumulating many Windows Registrations that are no longer required.
Word Free features make it easy to create Autorun CDs such that, when the CD is inserted, it will open automatically a DOC file in Word without macro alert.
Suppose that you want to make a CD that opens your DOC file automatically; in this case MyApp.doc. Follow these three steps:
1 - Copy the WordFree.exe and rename it to MyApp.EXE
2 - Using Windows Notepad, create a text file and save it as AUTORUN.INF with these two lines:
3 - Burn the CD with these files on the root:
Optionally you can also have your own application Icon by adding the ICON name to the AUTORUN.INI and adding the MyApp.ico icon file to the CD’s root directory.
Icon files can be created by an icon application like Microangelo (www.impactsoft.com).
Word Free features make it easy to create Zip installer package totally programmed in VBA such that, when Setup.exe (Setup.exe or Install.exe) is clicked in a Zip package, Zip will automatically extract all the files to a temporary folder, runs the Setup program and, after this completed, delete the temporary installation files and folder.
This process requires a VBA project in DOC file to run the actual installation process.
The steps required to create a package are;
1 - Create a new folder (for the installation files) eg “\MyApp”
2 - Copy to this folder all the files required for the installation
3 - Also copy the DOC file with the VBA project to run the actual Installation process and with the name properly started by 'Setup' or 'Install' or still 'Instl_' e.g. Setup_MyApp.DOC
4 - Copy WordFree.exe to this folder and rename it to Setup.exe
5 - Start Setup.exe while holding down the ‘Shift’ key and click OK to the alert – This will bring up the Word Free options form. Make any appropriate changes, and then click ‘Open in Word’. This will create the Setup.INI file and still test the package launching the Setup_MyApp.DOC
6 - Right click the folder (“\MyApp”) and ask the Winzip to create a zip of it.
That’s it. Remember you can use either Setup.exe or Install.exe and have to make the DOC file name equal or started by 'Setup' or 'Install' or still 'Instl_'. If you want to avoid that the DOC file is opened in the Word when clicking inside the Zip, protect it with a password or change its extension to DOCf, DOTf, or RTFf.
In this site, you can see some examples of Zip packages using Word Free like the WordCalendar.zip. Indeed, all add-ins and COM add-ins for Word available on the site have their installers and uninstallers fully programmed in VBA in DOC files that are packaged with other required files in two ways: converting to EXE using DOCtoEXE or zipping using Word Free. This zip package is always available as a second alternative for those who cannot download executables or for those advanced users who want to open zip packages with more options and installation control, but with similar functionality of the EXE package:
I would to thank the assistance of Peter Kowald from Australia. He really improved this Word Free document with great texts and insights.