I am trying to develop a custom solution that makes use of the Word Automation Service but I keep running into a snag.

The reference article I am following says that I need to make use of the Microsoft.Office.Word.Server.Conversions namespace however I am getting the following build error:

The type or namespace name 'Word' does not exist in the namespace 'Microsoft.Office' (are you missing an assembly reference?)

These are the assembly references that I have in my project:

VS Assembly References

I am sure I am missing something fairly basic but I am not sure what. Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


You need to reference Microsoft.Office.Word.Server which is located in the GAC (C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\assembly\GAC_MSIL). It is not safe to reference Microsoft.Office.Interop.* assemblies in a server application.

  • That has worked! Why doesn't that assembly appear in the normal list when adding references? Also why is it unsafe to reference Microsoft.Office.Interop?
    – Burgi
    Feb 9, 2016 at 9:28
  • 1
    The assembly list is pulled from C:\Windows\assembly, but in .NET 4.0, the GAC was moved to the path I previously provided. As for the Interop assemblies, KB257757 does a good job of explaining it. The Interop assemblies are used to control an Office client, and that KB goes into why using Office client for automation isn't supported for server-side code.
    – user6024
    Feb 9, 2016 at 15:29

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