A few days ago I was asked to review Spire.Doc
, which is a .Net component that lets you manipulate Word documents programmatically. Since I don't use Word documents in any of my projects, I was unable to test Spire.Doc in a real world situation. However, I did install it and looked at the samples.
The first pleasant surprise came out after the installation process finished. The installer opened a window that invited me to take a look at the samples. I think that this is very cool, since the first thing I usually do after installing something is looking at sample code and copying it into my own. The program that displayed the samples (called SampleCenter and available from the Start menu) contains a brief list of main features, each having a short description, a link to sample code (C# and VB.Net included, all VS versions from 2005 to 2012 supported), and a button to launch a demo (compiled from the sample code). The only thing I didn't like was that the link to sample code opened the corresponding folder, while I would prefer to see the relevant portion of the code open in the same window.
I didn't try to use it in my own project, but judging from the samples, the API is pretty straightforward. I don't know if they support some uber-professional Word features that nobody ever knows or cares about (like, automatically coloring stock symbols in red whenever they go down on the stock exchange), but they support all the good old stuff, including setting up the document properties, printing, and converting to PDF, RTF, and TIFF formats (and some others).
The main reason for using a tool like Spire.Doc, as far as I see, is that you don't have to have Office installed, and even though you might have it, Spire.Doc is a pure .Net thing that does not rely on this funny thing called Automation. Hence you can use it on e.g. Asp.Net sites, or in some other scenarios where performance and robustness are important (although, as I mentioned above, I didn't have a chance to test either).
So, if you earn your money messing with Word documents, give Spire.Doc
a try, and watch all your problems go away.