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Thomas Rümmler
Thomas Rümmler arbeitet als Managing Consultant und Projektleiter bei AIT und ist von Microsoft als Most Valuable Professional (MVP) für Visual Studio & Development Technologies ausgezeichnet worden. Sein Arbeitsschwerpunkt liegt auf Application Lifecycle Management und DevOps. Thomas hilft Unternehmen ihren Entwicklungsprozess ganzheitlich zu verbessern. Seine Erfahrung gibt er als Autor des TFS-Blogs und Sprecher im Microsoft DevOps Umfeld weiter.

Thomas Rümmler

WordToTFS 5.2 sim-shipped with TFS 2017

Montag, 28. November 2016

Just in time with TFS 2017 we have released version 5.2 of WordToTFS, the connector between Word and TFS or VSTS. In the new version there is a bunch of new things we’d like to explain in this blog post. A lot of the new features make document generation smarter or increase support for users working in a regulated environment. Beside this a list of bug fixes is added after the feature description. Due to security reasons, we changed the download location which has an impact on auto updates. This is explained at the end of this blog post.

Console Extension User Notifications

A lot of user notifications and error messages in command line mode in some cases did not provide as much information as needed to enable the user to find the root cause if something unexpected happened (please find details on how to automate WordToTFS via command line in the user documentation in section Console Extension, pp. 51) This is due to the fact that in interactive mode the user can click a message and WordToTFS navigates to the affected work item, which is not possible in command line mode. For this reason the user notifications have been extended, e.g. by the affected work item id, if a work item specific issue occurred.

In that context some other messages in command line mode have been aligned with those in interactive mode. Furthermore, to improve usability of user notifications and error messages in command line mode, these messages are now written in different colors, indicating error, warning, and information.

No post operations in case of an error

In case of an error during document generation, the post operations are not executed anymore. This makes it easier to identify a document as incomplete especially after an unattended creation e.g. in command line mode.

Working with variables

Variables functionality for test reporting

Working with variables makes the configuration of WordToTFS templates more flexible and simplifies their management. E.g. when a user wants to use a specific value in different work item types in Word, she can define a variable in the WordToTFS template and assign the appropriate value. This variable can then be referenced within the same w2t-file. A good starting point for using variables is the user documentation at page 38, section Defining Variables.

In former versions, the usage of variables in WordToTFS templates was available with Get Work Item functionality, only. This now has been extended to all test reporting features.

System Variables functionality introduced

In addition to the variables that can be defined in WordToTFS templates and can be assigned with values in that templates a new mechanism has been introduced to provide compile time information in a similar way. The first system variable that is the only one, yet, provides the WordToTFS version number. This enables the user to store the version information of WordToTFS used for document generation in the document, which is a requirement especially in regulated environments. How to configure this feature is outlined in the user documentation at pp. 30, section FieldValueType Attribute under BasedOnSystemVariable.

Enhanced field updates in post operations

The post operation „RefreshAllFieldsInDocument“ (see section Customizing the template configuration: w2t file in the user guide at page 25) updates any Word field used in the document. This also affects table of contents and table of figures.

Whenever table of contents or table of figures was updated by a post operation in former versions of WordToTFS, only the page numbers were refreshed. Now the complete tables are updated which also adds new items if necessary.

Support for Requirements Based Suites

WordToTFS now fully supports Requirements Based Test Suites for all test specifications and test reports.

UI improvements

Saved Query Selector

The display behavior of the selector for work item queries is now configurable. By default, the tree view showing work item queries is expanded, which equals the behavior by now. If users have a lot of queries they may find it difficult to navigate through the complete tree structure. Therefore, it is possible to add the attribute CollapsQueryTree=”true” to the xaml tag MappingConfiguration to show a collapsed tree view initially. This configuration affects both occurrences: “Get Work Items” and “Test Specification Report By Query”.


Builds in alphabetical order

When creating a test result report the user now sees the available builds in alphabetical order. This makes manually finding and selecting the desired build much easier, especially if the list is very long due to a huge amount of builds.



  • WordToTFS templates got minor updates, e.g. to correct misspellings.
  • The Work Item Link Viewer, that enables adding a hyperlink to a work item in test specifications and test reports did not work properly and has been fixed.
  • In some cases a test result report threw a null reference exception when a linked build was selected. The root cause has been fixed and the exception will not be thrown anymore.
  • Fixed bug that finding latest test result threw an exception for the root test suite.
  • OLE Handling for Office files (e.g. embedded Excel or Visio documents) did not work due to image scaling issues. Any special treatment of images due to scaling has been deactivated for embedded OLE objects.

Download location changed

The download location of WordToTFS has been moved behind the scenes. To provide a secure download it now uses an SSL encrypted https-source, instead of a non-encrypted http-source before.

For any user who initially downloads WordToTFS from the download area of our website under, this change is fully transparent and the user does not need to do any different than before. Just register or login and start the download.

All users having WordToTFS installed already, can get the this new version 5.2 via the auto update in WordToTFS. Those installations download the new version from the unsecured http-location. For a grace period we will provide updates at the http-location by end of February 2017. After that point in time, we remove the http-update-location. Those installations need to be reinstalled manually. However, if users do not want to install an update, they can keep using the installation as it is.

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