Monday, August 24, 2009

Ruby & Word: Inserting Pictures Into Documents

In an earlier article, I explained how to insert an image into a range of cells in an Excel worksheet. Today we'll look at how to insert an image into a Word document.

Setting the Scene

Feel free to play along at home: Imagine that you have a Word document already open...

require 'win32ole'
word = WIN32OLE.connect('Word.Application')
doc = word.ActiveDocument

...and you want to insert an image from your PC...

image = 'C:\Pictures\Picture1.jpg'

...into a given Range object in the document:

range = doc.Sentences(2)

The InlineShapes Collection

The InlineShapes object represents a collection of pictures, OLE objects, and ActiveX controls contained within a given Document or Range object.

The AddPicture() Method

To insert an image into a document or range, we call the AddPicture() method on the InlineShapes collection. This method accepts up to four parameters:

* FileName (required) - The full path and filename of the image to insert.

* LinkToFile (optional) - If true the inserted picture will be linked to the file from which it was created. You'll usually set this to false to make the picture an independent copy of the file. The default value is false.

* SaveWithDocument (optional) - Set to true to save the linked picture with the document. The default is false. This value will be ignored unless LinkToFile is set to true.

* Range (optional) - A Range object representing the position in which to insert the picture.

The AddPicture() method returns a reference to the newly created InlineShape object that is your picture.

So, to insert an image at the start of the range that we defined earlier, we could call the method on our range object...

range = doc.Sentences(2)
pic = range.InlineShapes.AddPicture( { 'FileName' => image } )

...or we could call it on the Document object and pass the Range object as a parameter:

range = doc.Sentences(2)
pic = doc.InlineShapes.AddPicture( { 'FileName' => image,
'Range' => range } )

When providing all four parameters, the syntax looks like this:
pic = doc.InlineShapes.AddPicture( { 'FileName' => image,
'LinkToFile' => false,
'SaveWithDocument' => false,
'Range' => range } )

If your only parameter is the FileName, you could bypass the hash format and simply pass the string to the method, like this...

pic = range.InlineShapes.AddPicture( 'C:\Pictures\Picture1.jpg' )

To insert the image at the currently selected position, use the word.Selection.Range object:

pic = word.Selection.Range.InlineShapes.AddPicture( image )
pic = doc.InlineShapes.AddPicture( { 'FileName' => image,
'Range' => word.Selection.Range } )

And that's our show for today. Thanks for stopping by!


Pradyumna said...

Hey Thanks for adding this ... Could you do me a favor?
I need a standard continuous guide explaining all the ins and outs of WIN32OLE in ruby.
Do you any tutorial like this ... It will be a big help
-Pradyumna Dandwate

diva said...

nice info, it can help me to finish my job :D