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Setup Projects for Application-Level Add-ins (2003 System)

Visual Studio 2008

Applies to

The information in this topic applies only to the specified Visual Studio Tools for Office projects and versions of Microsoft Office.

Project type

  • Application-level projects

Microsoft Office version

  • Microsoft Office 2003

For more information, see Features Available by Application and Project Type.

When you create an application-level add-in project by using Visual Studio Tools for Office, a Setup project is automatically added to the solution. The Setup project for add-ins generates a Windows Installer (.msi) file that configures the target computer and installs the add-in. For more information about Setup projects, see Setup and Deployment Projects.

By default, when you build the Setup project, Visual Studio produces a Windows Installer file that performs the following steps:

  1. Verifies that the .NET Framework 2.0 is installed on the client computer.


    By default, the Setup project does not check for other prerequisites, including the Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime, Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), and the Outlook 2003 primary interop assemblies (PIAs). For more information, see How to: Prepare End User Computers to Run Office Solutions (2003 System).


    By default, the Setup program will not run if the .NET Framework 2.0 is not installed, even if a later or earlier version of the Framework is installed. The installer will not run because the AllowLaterVersions launch condition property for the .NET Framework in the Setup project is set to false. For more information about launch conditions in Setup projects, see Launch Conditions Editor and Properties for the Launch Conditions Editor.

  2. Creates the required registry keys on the client computer. For more information about these registry keys, see Registry Entries for Application-Level Add-Ins.

  3. Copies the files generated by the build process, including the add-in assembly and the application manifest, to a user-specified directory on the target computer.

The add-in assembly and any referenced assemblies must be granted full trust in the security policy of each end user before they will run. The Setup project does not set the security policy by default. You can add a step to the Setup project to configure the security policy, or an administrator can set the appropriate security policy. For more information, see Security Requirements to Run Office Solutions (2003 System).

If you use the Setup project to deploy a Microsoft Office 2003 add-in to a computer that is running Windows Vista, you must change some of the registry keys in the Setup project in the following scenarios:

  • The user is running the Microsoft Office application with a full administrator access token.

    - or -

  • The user has turned off User Account Control (UAC).

To modify the registry keys in the Setup project

  1. Open the add-in project in Visual Studio.

  2. In Solution Explorer, right-click the Setup project, point to View, and then click Registry.

    The Registry Editor opens.

  3. In the navigation pane, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

  4. Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER, expand Software.

  5. Drag the Classes node from the Software node under HKEY_CURRENT_USER to the Software node under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.


    Do not move the registry keys that are under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft in these scenarios.

For more information, see Registry Entries for Application-Level Add-Ins.