Excel Add-insThis content is no longer actively maintained.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.
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.
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