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Excel Add-ins

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You can build a Microsoft® Excel add-in to add tools or commands to a user's Excel environment. To load an Excel add-in, click Add-Ins on the Tools menu, and select the add-in from the list, or browse to find it if it does not appear in the list.

When the add-in has been loaded, any toolbars or menu items that it includes appear in Excel. An add-in remains loaded until the user unloads it or until Excel is closed, so tools in the add-in are available to all open workbooks. When the user closes Excel, the add-in is unloaded. It will be reloaded when Excel is opened only if the add-in is saved to the XLStart folder.

Several characteristics distinguish an Excel add-in from a typical workbook file:

  • An add-in has the file extension .xla to indicate that it is an add-in.
  • When you save a workbook as an Excel add-in, the workbook window is made invisible and cannot be viewed. You can use the invisible workbook and worksheets for storing calculations or data that your add-in requires while it is running.
  • Users cannot use the SHIFT key to bypass events that are built into the add-in. This feature makes sure any event procedures you have written in the add-in will run at the proper time.
  • Excel messages (alerts) are not displayed by code running in an add-in. In a standard workbook file, messages appear to verify that the user wants to perform an operation that might result in data loss, such as deleting a worksheet or closing an unsaved workbook file. In an add-in, you can perform such operations without the messages being displayed.

See Also

Building Application-Specific Add-ins | Word Add-ins | Creating an Excel Add-in | Loading an Excel Add-in | Running Code Automatically When an Excel Add-in Is Loaded or Unloaded | PowerPoint Add-ins | Access Add-ins | Adding and Removing Command Bars for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Add-ins | Controlling Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Add-ins from Code | Securing an Access, Excel, PowerPoint, or Word Add-in's VBA Project | Excel Templates

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