How to update a Word add-in from DocTools

If you have installed a Word add-in from DocTools and need to update it to a newer version that becomes available to you, you need to replace the old add-in file(s) with the updated version(s).

To update an add-in, follow the instructions for installing an add-in. See How to install a Word add-in from DocTools.

Two different procedures are described for installing an add-in:

  • About METHOD 1: Installation using  DocTools
    If you update an add-in using this method, the old file(s) will automatically be replaced with the new file(s) as explained in the How to install a Word add-in from DocTools.
  • About METHOD 2: Manual installation
    If you update and add-in using this method, you must manually make sure to remove the old version(s) of the file(s) from the STARTUP folder as explained in How to install a Word add-in from DocTools.

Why the STARTUP folder must contain only a single version of the same add-in

If you are going to update an add-in with a new version, you might think that you can rename the old file in the STARTUP folder and leave it there together with the new version. However, that may cause problems so don’t do that unless you change the file extension too so that Word can no longer recognize the renamed file as a template.

Imagine that you rename an add-in named MyAddIn.dotm to MyAddIn_OLD.dotm. Even if you renamed the old add-in, it contains the same macros as it did beforehand. When you start Word, both add-ins will be loaded and Word has access to two sets of macros with identical names. When you, for example, click a button, Word may grab the requested macro in the old add-in instead of in the new one. Maybe that macro has been changed in the new version and things will not work as designed.

Always keep a backup copy of your add-ins

You should always make sure to keep a backup copy of your add-ins. Then you can easily replace the version in your STARTUP folder with a fresh version if needed.

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