Add-ins, Templates, Wizards, and Libraries
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.