Building COM Add-ins for Office Applications

Because Microsoft® Office XP applications support the Component Object Model (COM) add-in architecture, you can use the same tools and installation file formats (a Microsoft® ActiveX® .dll or .exe) to develop add-ins for all Office applications. By building COM add-ins, you can extend the functionality of your Office-based applications without adding complexity for the user.

You can also create add-ins for Office Developer and for the Microsoft® Visual Basic® Editor. You can make such add-ins available to or from any application that supports Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), including applications other than Office.

In This Section

Working with Add-in Designers
Create and register your COM add-in with an add-in designer.
Specifying Load Behavior
Load (connect) the add-in, and make it available to the user; or unload (disconnect) the add-in, so it cannot be run.
Writing Code in the Add-in Designer
Begin writing code in the designer's class module when you have specified general information for a COM add-in in the add-in designer.
Hooking a COM Add-in Up to a Command Bar Control
Integrate your COM add-in (if it has a user interface) with the host application in some way, so the user can interact with it.
Debugging a COM Add-in
Load and use the COM add-in from within a Microsoft® Office XP application to test and debug it.
Making the DLL
Turn your COM add-in into a DLL when you have finished debugging it.
Distributing COM Add-ins
Install all the files necessary to distributing your COM add-in to other users on each user's system and register the add-in.
COM Add-ins and Security
Specify security settings for Microsoft® Office XP applications in the Office XP Security dialog box.

Related Sections

Add-ins, Templates, Wizards, and Libraries
Extend an application by adding functionality that is not in the core product itself by creating add-ins.
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 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.