How to setup Office Add-ins

Add-ins are not launched directly from the end user, rather they are loaded and executed by a host application (in this case Word and PowerPoint). For this reason is it a little more difficult to setup correctly an add-in than a stand-alone application.

The setup check utility

FormsAssistant, PowerForms, PowerMerge and PowerTOC include a simple check utility that makes a number of checks on your system to see if the addins have been properly installed and are ready to be used.

To execute the setup check utility:

  • Reinstall the addin. The utility will be launched automatically after a successful installation.
  • Open the Start menu and select the entry "Setup check" on the apropriate submenu: FormsAssistant, PowerForms, PowerMerge or PowerTOC).

The screen shot below, shows the output of the check utility when PowerTOC is installed properly. A similar utility is provided for FormsAssistant, PowerMerge and PowerForms. Note that the four big buttons are blue. Error conditions are clearly shown using red buttons.

Screenshot of the Check utility

Please refer to the following sections to learn how to troubleshoot the four different error conditions that can be detected by the setup check utility:

Please note that there are so many different combinations of Windows and Office versions and security policies on your organization that the setup check utility can fail to identify the problem that is preventing the execution of our add-ins.

We encourage you to contact us and report any problem you might encounter with the setup check utility.

Important Note: By design, the setup check utility only reports problems. It won't try to solve them in any way, and therefore will not perform any change to your system.

Troubleshooting Office version

First, the check utility tries to determine the Office version installed. This is necessary to look for the correct security settings used by different versions of Office.

If the first button is red, the utility check was not able to determine the version of the host application (Word in the case of FormsAssistant and PowerPoint in the case of PowerTOC and PowerForms). This will happen only in the follwoing cases:

  • You registry has becomed corrupted.
  • You have more than one Office version installed on your system.

In either case, it is recommended that you reinstall Office since this problem is likely to cause other problems not related to our add-ins.

Troubleshooting the installation of the addin

The second button controls the installation and registration of the addin in the system.

If the setup check utility reports an error, it means that the addin was not properly installed. The best solution is to reinstall the addin using the installation program that you have downloaded from this site.

Note that t he most common cause of failure is that you don't have enough permissions on your system to install programs. Please ask an administrator of your system to install the addin for you.

Troubleshooting the security settings

To increase the security of their Office suite, Microsoft has added a number of security settings to the different versions of Office which might prevent our add-ins from being executed. This is by far, the most likely cause of failure of an addin, and the solution is different in the various supported versions of Office:

Office 2000 and XP

On these versions of Office our add-ins should work in all security levels and therefore no further action should be needed, although you will be notified if you have a Low security level.

Office 2003

Office 2003 introduced the "Very High" security level which prevents the execution of add-ins not located in a "Trusted Location".

In order to use our add-ins you should, either lower the security level to "High" (the recommended level), or you should install the addin in one of the available "Trusted Locations".

To change the security level select Tools > Macro > Security on the appropriate Office application (Word for FormsAssisstant and PowerPoint for PowerTOC and PowerForms).

Security level

Recommended security level on Office 2003

Note: On some organizations, users are not allowed to change the security level of Office applications. If that is your case, you should ask a system administrator to lower the security level for you or to install the addin in a Trusted Location.

Office 2007 and 2010

Office 2007 changed the security settings used by previous versions of Office.

To enable third party add-ins you have to access the Trust Center

Recommended Trust Center Settings
Recommended Trust Center Settings

Note: On some organizations, users are not allowed to change the security level of Office applications. If that is your case, you should ask a system administrator to lower the security level for you or to install the addin in a Trusted Location.

Troubleshooting the state of the addin

Addins can be disabled or made inactive in a number of ways:

1. Addins disabled by an Office application

When an Office application crashes, it can disable the addins that were loaded when the crash happened, even if these addins were not responsible of the error.

Usually you will get a notification from the Office application asking for permission to disable the addin, but sometimes the application will simply disable it.

In either case, the last button of the setup check utility will error condition will be red, and the

  • On Office 2000, XP and 2003: To enable an add-in select Help > About, select the disabled add-in on the list box, and click on the Enable button.
  • On Office 2007 and 2010: To enable an add-in click the Office button, click the 'Application options' button (Word or PowerPoint), click Add-ins in the category pane. Select the 'Disabled Items' category and click Go. Select the disabled add-om and click Enable.

Please note that FormsAssistant is internally named lwclass.

2. Addins made inactive by the user

In adittion to an Office application disabling an add-in, end users can also manually disable add-ins on Office 2007 or 2010. To re-enable a disabled add-in proceed as explained on the previous point.

3. Changing the state on Windows Vista  or Windows 7

By default the Windows Vista or Windows 7 user account control (UAC) does not enable changing the state of an Office add-in. Even when you are logged in as an administrator.

Therefore, on Windows Vista, you might have to reinstall an inactive addin to be able to make it active again.

Restoring the toolbar

On versions prior to 2007, it is possible that the add-in is being executed correctly, but its toolbar is not being shown. To restore a hidden toolbar, proceed as follows:

Method 1 - Selecting toolbars

  • Right-click on any of the toolbars.
  • Scroll down the list of toolbars until you locate "FormsAssistant" (or "Table of Contents" in the case of PowerTOC).
  • Check the box next to the appropriate toolbar name.

Method 2 - Using the menus

  • Click Tools > Customize on the Menu bar.
  • In the Customize dialog box, click the Toolbars tab.
  • Scroll down until you locate "FormsAssistant" (or "Table of Contents" in the case of PowerTOC).
  • Check the box next to the appropriate toolbar name.