Word Interop / Automation in C# and VB.NET

Word Automation is an option when creating/reading Word files (DOC, DOCX, RTF) from C# or VB.NET application, but it has many drawbacks.

Issues when using Word automation (or Word Interop) from C# or VB.NET are:

  • Requires a license for Microsoft Office on every client machine.
  • Requires that all client machines have the same version of Microsoft Word installed.
  • When using Automation, Microsoft Word is loaded in the background, taking computer resources and loading a large number of files and DLLs.
  • Microsoft Office applications (including Word) were designed as UI applications and because of that API is very slow. Generating a simple document with 30 paragraphs takes 10.2 seconds on our test machine.
  • Microsoft doesn’t recommend using Word Automation (or any Office Interop) on the server: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/257757

GemBox.Document is one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Word Automation (Word Interop).

GemBox.Document Free is free of charge while GemBox.Document Professional is a commercial version licensed per developer.
For more information, see GemBox.Document features and why GemBox.Document outperforms Word automation.