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Is Aspose Word what we need?

I have been looking over the Wiki to see the capabilities, but maybe someone can enlighten me here:

  1. When will the Word Editor be available? Will it do printing as
    well? Any idea how “accurate” viewing and printing is/will be as
    far as the document appearing the same as in Word? We need the
    ability for a user of our website to be able to view and print
    documents on our site, and also edit them and save the edited docs back
    to the server. Could the Word Editor be embedded in a web page as
    an ActiveX control?
  2. We have a Word-automation “char counter” we built for billing
    transcription by the char. Bolds/fonts/etc are billed 2x, plus we
    bill for chars in header/footer each time the header/footer
    appears. We have docs with multiple sections and with different
    header/footer sets for each section - so the char counter app has to
    use pagination to figure out which headers/footers show up on how many
    pages - for these reasons we cannot use the simple char count provided
    by Word - and the Word Automation can take over a minute to “richly”
    count a 4 page doc. We need something better and faster that can
    be run on a server - can Aspose Word help us here? I saw in the
    Wiki that pagination was not supported yet - when will it be?
  3. I saw in the Wiki that you can set the “protection” for a
    document. Can you password-protect a document against
    editing? Can you encrypt a document? Can you use a digital
    key certificate to digitally sign a document (the way you can from
    inside Word)?
  4. I am confused by your licensing model. If Aspose was suitable
    to our needs, and we needed to run it on a Web server that runs our
    site, which version would we need to get? What if that web site
    had an ActiveX control written by us that used (the future) Aspose Word
    Editor to edit documents in a web page?

I thank you for your help on this


Thank you for your interest in Aspose.Word.

  1. At first, Aspose.Word.Viewer will be available that can render document pages onto any Graphics object and therefore you can create images of pages or thumbnails, save and print them. MS Word documents have far too many features especially if you consider all the drawing objects so first versions of the viewer will not support all document features. If a first version of the viewer will be available at the end of this year, it will probably take another 6-12 months before we can say majority of Word document features are supported. One of the goals of the viewer we are building is to render exactly like MS Word so the output can be accepted by various government agencies etc.

If you need document editing capabilities, at this stage, I’m not so sure we will have such a component. We do play around with the idea of building an editor control, but it is just a big project estimated at over 500K lines of code.

  1. If you are counting characters you don’t need the pagination features. You can perfectly do this using existing Aspose.Word Object Model. You can access headers footers, runs of text, paragraphs etc as objects (nodes in a tree, similar to XmlDocument). You can detect their properties and count anything you want appropriately. Counting pages will be available at the same time when the viewer control will be available as they will be based on the same pagination engine.

  2. You can protect a document using Aspose.Word, but you cannot specify a password for protection since we don’t know yet how MS Word hashes the password. If you need to protect a document and don’t need to later unprotect it - this feature is fine. Basically, Aspose.Word will automatically supply a random hash and the protection password will never be known.

We are working to support decrypting documents, we will look at providing encryption option too. These features could become available within several weeks.

Digital signature in a Word document signs only the VBA project, it does not sign the text and formatting content of the document. So if a document has a digital signature and if you modify the document in Aspose.Word, the digital signature will be preserved and it will remain valid. So I don’t think Aspose.Word needs an API to manipulate digital signatures at this time.

  1. If you intend to deploy internally within your company (or to 1 customer site) you need one or more Developer Professional or Site Professional subscriptions depending on the number of developers using Aspose.Word.

If you need to deploy to multiple customer sites, then you need one of the OEM subscriptions.

Roman, thanks so much for your quick reply - I see from this forum that
your customers are very happy with your level of support!

  1. We can probably continue doing what we do now - use the client’s
    installation of Word to handle client-side editing and printing of
    documents - so this is OK. The big “problem issue” that I am grappling
    with right now is need for Word document processing on our server -
    questions 2-4 below. One nice thing would be for us to be
    able to generate an image or HTML “preview” of a document, for cases
    where client does not have Word installed - and some “inacurracy” in
    layout/etc. would be OK here - we can do this with the Viewer?
  2. When counting chars, we do need the pagination - because, if a
    document section has X pages, and the header for that section has N
    chars, the count needs to be (body chars) + X * N chars. A
    “simple” Word char count (such as in Word’s Document Properties screen)
    just counts those header chars once - but we bill for header text on
    every page that they appear. Same with footers. So - this
    is avail. at end of year? Is there a beta available for this?
  3. So, you are saying that Aspose could open up a “signed” Word
    document, make changes to the contained text, and save it, and Word
    will still report it as being signed? So much for any usefulness
    of the Word digital signature support.

Are we talking about the same thing? You can digitally sign the
macro code in a document so that the user’s PC knows that the contained
code is “safe” - but that is not what I am talking about - I am talking
about signing the content of the document. From user interface,
you do Tools->Options->Security, and then Digital Signatures
button, and add one or more signatures from certificates. Once
you do this, Word reports it as Signed, displaying this in title bar
and also with a little certificate icon in the Status Bar - but if you
make any edits to
the document and save it, it is no longer Signed (Word warns you that
if you save it with the Edits, you will lose the signature).

I need to be able to 1) check a document to see if it is signed, and by
who, and 2) Sign it. Once signed, I would protect it before
sending it to user - this is OK if we can’t un-protect it, as my server
would keep a copy of the “unprotected” doc if we need to make future

  1. If Aspose Word is installed on a single web server (but not in any
    apps/ActiveX objects deployed to client user) for use on a single web
    site, Developer Professional would be OK? The website is to be
    used by many of our clients. I am the single developer.


  1. You just need to Document.Save(stream, SaveFormat.FormatHtml) and it will export in HTML format, see how the demo does that online. The output is not paginated though.

  2. Beta of the viewer is available (included in Aspose.Word actually) but it is not integrated as far as providing a programmatic interface to find where the automatic page break in the document will be. End of 2005 is a date floating around that we want to deliver something by it, but I cannot promise what exactly.

  3. Good point about digital signatures. I was surely talking about the signature you make in the VBA editor and that signs the VBA project only. I did not realize there is a way to sign the content of the document like you’ve said. I will log a request to develop a digital signature management feature, but it is all undocumented stuff, not easy to do. Having said that, we managed to support many other undocumented features like true type font embedding etc in the past.

  4. For one developer and installation on a single site, Developer Professional Subscription is right. If you decide to use the export to HTML (or export to PDF) you need Developer Enterprise Subscription though. Use the evaluation first, you can try all fetures.

Roman, again thanks for your help.

A few more questions.

If I have a document, and I name a number of bookmarks in it, such as
“PatientFirstName”. “PatientLastName” etc., it is simple to use Aspose
Word to open that doc, and either read the contents of those bookmarks,
or replace the text contained in those bookmarks? Sounds like
this is exactly what Aspose is for - but just checking.

Also - I have noticed that when using bookmarks, its very easy for a
user to accidentally “overwrite” the bookmark, either deleting it or
munging it in some way. Do you know of some way to keep this from

What about “Document Properties” - if you open a Word doc and go
File->Properties, and click the Custom tab, you can add in free-form
“property variables” (not sure what they’re really called). Can
these be easily read, changed, or created in Aspose Word?



It is easy to work with bookmarks in Aspose.Word. You can access bookmarks by name, get and set text in the bookmark. This topic in the Programmers Guide explains in more details https://docs.aspose.com/words/net/working-with-bookmarks/

If users are allowed to edit a document freely, they can munge bookmarks you are right. One way people prevent this is by protecting the document, but letting users only change content in the form fields. Aspose.Word allows access to form fields too (in fact each form field usually has an associated bookmark).

Access to built in and custom document properties is possible https://reference.aspose.com/words/net/aspose.words.properties

We are happy to tell you that the new Rendering Engine has replaced the “old Viewer Beta”. The Rendering Engine can print, save as images or draw onto .NET Graphics object any document page.

Please see Aspose.Words documentation to learn more about new features.

Saving to image

In additional, new Rendering engine allows you to convert Word document to PDF directly (without using Aspose.Pdf).

Saving to Pdf

The latest version of Aspose.Words is available for download from downloads section or from NuGet