Vba – Opening/Activating Word Documents in a VBA macro


I'm hoping a VB/VBA expert can help me out. Consider the following:
The user opens a document in Word 2003, and within the Normal.dot AutoOpen macro, we look at current document, and if it has been opened by clicking on a link on a webpage, and meets certain other application specific criteria, close the streamed 'copy' and open the source document (found on a shared drive we can assume the user has access to):

Documents.Open origDoc
Documents(ActiveDocument.FullName).Close SaveChanges:=wdDoNotSaveChanges

With ActiveDocument
    ''# Do work
End With

My thought was that I needed to call Activate to ensure that the original document was the ActiveDocument, but I'm getting a 4160 'Bad file name' error on the .Activate call. If I comment out the call to .Activate, it appears that ActiveDocument is set to the origDoc document, even if there were other documents already opened (I'm not really sure how the Documents Collection is managed, and how Word determines what next ActiveDocument would be if you programatically close the current ActiveDocument)

So, does calling .Open on a document explicitly set the Document to be the ActiveDocument? Also, does calling .Activate on the already active document cause an error?

I haven't really been able to find much documentation about this, so thanks in advance for any suggestions and insight!

Best Solution

The simple answer is yes. By opening the document with your code you make it the active document, which you then close in the next line and try to activate in the next, and this fails because the document is no longer open. VBA in general seems to work this way.

It is important to be careful with ActiveDocument, because it's not always self-evident what actions, in code or elsewhere, will make a document 'active' (i have no proof but even an autosave might do it). IF there's any doubt you're better off referring to a document through the Documents collection, though this can also cause errors if the document is no longer open, and you might have to resort to iterating through the collection to be sure the document is, in fact, open. I run into this a lot with excel VBA, and Word VBA seems to function identically in that regard.

Also, VBA is flaky about releasing application objects. If you're not careful you'll end up with multiple WINWORD processes,viewable in task manager, regardless of whether you Close or Quit them in your code. The code I've found to work around this amounts to simulating the process of selecting END PROCESS in task manager. It works, but there should be a better solution.

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