Export (0) Print
Expand All

Office UI Customization

You can customize the user interface (UI) of Microsoft Office applications by using the Office developer tools in Visual Studio. This topic describes the UI features that you can customize in the following sections:

The following table compares the main UI features that you can customize in Microsoft Office projects.

Feature

Supported project types

Supported Microsoft Office applications

Actions pane

Document-level customizations

Excel 2013

Word 2013

Excel 2010

Word 2010

Custom task panes

Application-level add-ins

Excel 2013

InfoPath 2013

Outlook 2013

PowerPoint 2013

Word 2013

Excel 2010

InfoPath 2010

Outlook 2010

PowerPoint 2010

Word 2010

Custom Ribbon UI

Document-level customizations

Application-level add-ins

Excel 2013

InfoPath 2013

Outlook 2013

PowerPoint 2013

Project 2013

Word 2013

Visio 2013

Excel 2010

InfoPath 2010

Outlook 2010

PowerPoint 2010

Project 2010

Word 2010

Visio 2010

Backstage view

Document-level customizations

Application-level add-ins

Excel 2013

InfoPath 2013

Outlook 2013

PowerPoint 2013

Project 2013

Word 2013

Visio 2013

Excel 2010

InfoPath 2010

Outlook 2010

PowerPoint 2010

Project 2010

Word 2010

Visio 2010

Outlook form regions

Application-level add-ins

Outlook 2013

Outlook 2010

Controls on documents

Document-level customizations

Application-level add-ins

Excel 2013

Word 2013

Excel 2010

Word 2010

Shortcut menus

Document-level customizations

Application-level add-ins

Excel 2013

InfoPath 2013

Outlook 2013

PowerPoint 2013

Project 2013

Word 2013

Visio 2013

Excel 2010

InfoPath 2010

Outlook 2010

PowerPoint 2010

Project 2010

Word 2010

Visio 2010

Task panes are user interface panels that are typically docked to one side of a window in a Microsoft Office application. Almost all Microsoft Office applications include built-in task panes. An example of a task pane is the Help task pane in Word.

The Office development tools in Visual Studio provide two different ways to customize task panes:

  • You can add an actions pane to a document-level customization. By default, the actions pane is displayed on the right side of the application, to the right of the document. However, the actions pane can also be displayed to the left, top, or bottom of the document.

  • You can add a custom task pane to an application-level add-in. Users can dock custom task panes to different sides of the application window, or they can drag custom task panes to any location in the window.

Actions panes and custom task panes provide functionality by hosting a variety of controls to help users with tasks such as data entry. Compared to a Ribbon group, actions panes and custom task panes provide a much larger area to include text and controls.

For more information about actions panes, see Actions Pane Overview. For more information about custom task panes, see Custom Task Panes.

You can customize the Ribbon UI to expose functionality that you add to applications in Office. The Ribbon is a way to organize related commands (in the form of controls) so that they are easier to find. You can create your own Ribbon tabs and groups to give users access to functionality that you provide in your solution. Most of the features that were accessed by using the menus and toolbars in earlier versions of the Microsoft Office system can now be accessed by using the Ribbon.

For more information, see Ribbon Overview.

In Office applications, clicking the File tab opens the Backstage view. The Backstage view provides a UI that combines file-level tasks and actions, and replaces similar functionality available from the Microsoft Office button in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The Backstage view is fully extensible by using XML.

Visual Studio does not provide a designer or APIs for customizing the Backstage view. However, if you add a Ribbon (XML) item to your Office project, you can add XML to the Ribbon XML file to customize the Backstage view. For more information about Ribbon (XML) items, see Ribbon XML.

For more information about customizing the Backstage view, see Introduction to the Office 2010 Backstage View for Developers and Customizing the Office 2010 Backstage View for Developers.

Use form regions to add custom functionality to standard Microsoft Office Outlook forms. You can create form regions that extend any existing form with additional fields or controls. If you create a new form region by using the Office development tools in Visual Studio, you can use only Windows Forms controls on the form region. If you import a form region that was designed in Outlook, then you can use only native Outlook controls.

You can create form regions that occupy different areas of the Outlook UI. For example, adjoining form regions are displayed at the bottom of the first page of a form, and each adjoining form region is collapsible. You can also add a separate form region that is displayed as a full additional form page and that can appear on any existing standard form or custom form.

For more information, see Creating Outlook Form Regions.

You can add a variety of controls to Word documents and Excel worksheets. For example, you might want to add a date picker control to a document so the user can enter dates in a standard format, or put a button on a worksheet to send data to a database.

When you develop document-level projects for Excel or Word, you can use the Visual Studio designer to add controls to the document or workbook in your project at design time, or you can programmatically add controls at run time. When you develop application-level projects for Excel or Word, you can programmatically add controls to any open document or workbook at run time.

For more information, see Host Items and Host Controls Overview and Windows Forms Controls on Office Documents Overview.

A shortcut menu appears when you right-click in a document or an application window. You can set a shortcut menu to appear after an event takes place, such as when a user right-clicks a document, workbook, or host control. You can add a number of different menu commands or controls to a shortcut menu. Create shortcut menus by using XML. If you add a Ribbon (XML) item to your Office project, you can add XML to the Ribbon XML file to create shortcut menus. For more information about using XML to create shortcut menus, see How to: Add Commands to Shortcut Menus.

Show:
© 2014 Microsoft