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Add-ins, Templates, Wizards, and Libraries

This content is no longer actively maintained. It is provided as is, for anyone who may still be using these technologies, with no warranties or claims of accuracy with regard to the most recent product version or service release.

Creating a Microsoft® Office XP application is about enhancing and extending powerful applications that you and other users already have on your desktops. You can take advantage of the features in Microsoft® Word, Microsoft® Excel, Microsoft® PowerPoint®, Microsoft® Access, Microsoft® FrontPage®, and Microsoft® Outlook®, as well as all the time and resources Microsoft has invested in developing and testing these applications, to build an application quickly and easily that meets users' requirements without requiring a lot of training and support.

One way to provide users with a custom application is to build an add-in. An add-in extends an application by adding functionality that is not in the core product itself. If you are a frequent user of Excel or Access, you might already be familiar with some of the add-ins that these applications include. For example, the Linked Table Manager in Access is an add-in that was built in Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA).

You can create two different types of add-ins: Component Object Model (COM) add-ins and application-specific add-ins. COM add-ins can work in more than one of the Office XP applications.

The other type of add-in you can create is an application-specific add-in. You can create application-specific add-ins in Office XP, as well as in previous versions of Office. An application-specific add-in works in only one application.

Another way to distribute a custom Office application is to create a template. A template provides the user with a basis for creating a new document. For example, a Word template might include the basic layout for a report that an employee can use to create a new document with the same layout and simply fill in the new information.

In addition to the add-ins and templates mentioned earlier, you also can create two specialized kinds of add-ins: wizards and code libraries. Wizards are add-ins, and they help users through a complex process step-by-step. Code libraries are add-ins in which you can store frequently used procedures and generic code. By setting a reference to a code library, you can call procedures stored within that library from your current VBA project.

In This Section

  • What Is a COM Add-in?
    Extend the functionality of your Microsoft® Office-based applications without adding complexity for the user.
  • Building COM Add-ins for Office Applications
    By building COM add-ins, you can extend the functionality of your Microsoft® Office-based applications without adding complexity for the user.
  • Building COM Add-ins for the Visual Basic Editor
    Customize your development environment and work with components in a Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) project from code.
  • Building Application-Specific Add-ins
    Add functionality to Microsoft® Office XP applications by creating application-specific add-ins.
  • Creating Templates
    Learn how to give users a framework within which to complete common tasks by using templates.
  • Creating Wizards
    Understand how to create a wizard to walk users through a series of steps to create a new document, spreadsheet, presentation, database, or Web application and to deliver an application is that is easy to use.
  • Building Reusable Code Libraries
    Increase your efficiency by storing code for functionality you often implement in your procedures.
  • Developing Office Applications Using VBA
    Create Microsoft® Office XP applications that can range from writing a simple Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) procedure to creating a sophisticated financial analysis and reporting application
  • The Benefits of Office Programmability
    Quickly and easily build and deploy custom desktop applications and take advantage of the objects exposed by Microsoft® Office XP applications, so your custom applications can leverage existing, proven, and tested Office functionality.
  • Office Objects and Object Models
    Integrate the features from two or more Microsoft® Office XP applications into a single application to amplify and focus users' productivity.
  • Working with Office Applications
    Take advantage of different objects, collections of objects, properties, methods, and events to build your application.
  • Working with Shared Office Components
    Search for files, use the Office Assistant, manipulate command bars, read and write document properties, read and write script, and hook add-ins to your Microsoft® Office XP application using a set of shared objects available in all Office applications.
  • Getting the Most Out of Visual Basic for Applications
    Write code that is fast, efficient, easy to read and maintain, and, if possible, reusable with a solid working knowledge of Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) — what features the language includes and what you can do with it.