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excel – MailItem.GetInspector.WordEditor in Office 2016 generates Application-defined or object defined error

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I wrote an Excel macro to send email from a spreadsheet. It works on Office 2013, but not Office 2016.

I looked at the VBA differences between Office 2013 and 2016, but couldn’t see anything about changes to the inspector or word editor for message objects.

Once it gets to .GetInspector.WordEditor it throws:

Run-time error ‘287’:
Application-defined or object defined error

Here is the relevant part of the macro:

Sub SendEmail()
    Dim actSheet As Worksheet
    Set actSheet = ActiveSheet

    'directories of attachment and email template
    Dim dirEmail as String, dirAttach As String

    ' Directory of email template as word document
    dirEmail = _

    ' Directories of attachments
    dirAttach = _

    ' Email Subject line
    Dim subjEmail As String
    subjEmail = "Email Subject"

    Dim wordApp As Word.Application
    Dim docEmail As Word.Document

    ' Opens email template and copies it
    Set wordApp = New Word.Application
    Set docEmail = wordApp.Documents.Open(dirEmail, ReadOnly:=True)

    Dim OutApp As Outlook.Application
    Set OutApp = New Outlook.Application
    Dim OutMail As MailItem
    Dim outEdit As Word.Document

    ' The names/emails to send to
    Dim docName As String, sendEmail As String, ccEmail As String, siteName As String
    Dim corName As String

    Dim row As Integer
    For row = 2 To 20

        sendName = actSheet.Cells(row, 1)
        sendEmail = actSheet.Cells(row, 2)
        ccEmail = actSheet.Cells(row, 3)
        siteName = actSheet.Cells(row, 4)

        Set OutMail = OutApp.CreateItem(olMailItem)
        With OutMail
            .SendUsingAccount = OutApp.Session.Accounts.Item(1)
            .To = sendEmail
            .CC = ccEmail
            .Subject = subjEmail & " (Site: " & siteName & ")"

            Set outEdit = .GetInspector.WordEditor

            outEdit.Range(0).InsertBefore ("Dear " & sendName & "," & vbNewLine)

            .Attachments.Add dirAttach


        End With
        Debug.Print row

        Set OutMail = Nothing
        Set outEdit = Nothing
    Next row

    docEmail.Close False
End Sub

Things I’ve tried based on suggestions:

  • Checked Outlook settings – default is HTML text
  • Moved .display over .GetInspector.WordEditor
How to&Answers:

Ensure Word is the default email editor. From the Inspector.WordEditor dox:

The WordEditor property is only valid if the IsWordMail method returns True and the EditorType property is olEditorWord . The returned WordDocument object provides access to most of the Word object model…

Further, ensure that Outlook is configured to send Rich Text or HTML emails, not plain text.


I am not entirely sure if I had the same issue as you, but the call to GetInspector started failing for me after upgrading Office 2016. So to be clear it worked with Office 2016 and then stopped working after the latest update.

The following workaround worked for me

dim item : set item = Addin.Outlook.CreateItemFromTemplate(Filename)
Outlook.Inspectors.Add(item) ' Outlook is the application object

it only appears to work if I add the item straight after creating it, setting properties on it and then adding it did not work.

Note: I have not tested with CreateItem instead of CreateItemFromTemplate. The second line was added and unnecessary prior to the Office update.


Try moving the editor to the first action…

     With OutMail

        Set outEdit = .GetInspector.WordEditor

        .SendUsingAccount = OutApp.Session.Accounts.Item(1)
        .To = sendEmail
        .CC = ccEmail
        .Subject = subjEmail & " (Site: " & siteName & ")"