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Excel 2003 Application level Add-In RRS feed

  • Question

  • I want to create an Excel application level control for Excel 2003, which gives the user navigator style functionality (i.e. allows them to view and manage workbooks and worksheets, view comments, named ranges, etc).

     

    I have downloaded a couple of third party "addin" components, as examples.  They "appear" to approach this in one of two ways:

    • a form which appears in a custom task pane.  I'm assuming this is a managed .NET COM dll.  However, all the documentation I can find says that it is only possible to create a custom task pane for office 2007.  If that is the case, how has this been achieved for Excel 2003?
    • a form embedded within a commandbar, and docked to the right of the screen.  Again, I cannot work out how this has been achieved.  How do you specify a windows form as a commandbar control?

    Any ideas?

    Monday, November 12, 2007 7:12 PM

Answers

  •  

    Have a look at the following link:

    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa942839(VS.80).aspx

     

    There is a comparison for the product combinations showing what is where. The Custom Task Pane is available for Office 2007. You can use the Actions Pane in Office 2003. What's in a name ...

     

    If you go for Visual Studio 2008, available in only a couple of weeks from now, you can create all the solutions for both Office 2003 -and- Office 2007.

     

    -= Maarten =-

    Monday, November 12, 2007 11:08 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi kieran

     

    Fact: the Office 2003 object model does not expose a "pane" that will be available at the application level. Custom Task Panes are available only for the Office 2007 object models. The actions pane, which 2003 can use, is document-specific and therefore does not meet your specifications.

     

    So anything at the application-level for 2003 must use some kind of work-around, which basically means any add-in you d/l that works for Office 2003 probably uses a variation on the second option you suggest (it might not be a Winforms control).

     

    A task pane is a special kind of commandbar. It hosts a single control that is "toolbar compatible". That control then hosts other, controls. In the case of the VSTO Actions Pane, there's an ActiveX control that wraps/hosts WinForms controls. Eric Carter and Eric Lippert describe the technology used in their book Visual Studio Tools for Office.

     

    How to this is done, however, is not documented anywhere and is not directly supported by Microsoft. It's also outside the scope of this forum, I'm afraid. I have seen discussions about how best to accomplish what you're looking for in various newsgroups, such as the word.vba.general and the office.developer.automation newsgroups. You'll find links to those groups in the "Please Read First" message at the top of the forum. And a Google newsgroup search should also turn something up.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 8:02 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  •  

    Have a look at the following link:

    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa942839(VS.80).aspx

     

    There is a comparison for the product combinations showing what is where. The Custom Task Pane is available for Office 2007. You can use the Actions Pane in Office 2003. What's in a name ...

     

    If you go for Visual Studio 2008, available in only a couple of weeks from now, you can create all the solutions for both Office 2003 -and- Office 2007.

     

    -= Maarten =-

    Monday, November 12, 2007 11:08 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi kieran

     

    Fact: the Office 2003 object model does not expose a "pane" that will be available at the application level. Custom Task Panes are available only for the Office 2007 object models. The actions pane, which 2003 can use, is document-specific and therefore does not meet your specifications.

     

    So anything at the application-level for 2003 must use some kind of work-around, which basically means any add-in you d/l that works for Office 2003 probably uses a variation on the second option you suggest (it might not be a Winforms control).

     

    A task pane is a special kind of commandbar. It hosts a single control that is "toolbar compatible". That control then hosts other, controls. In the case of the VSTO Actions Pane, there's an ActiveX control that wraps/hosts WinForms controls. Eric Carter and Eric Lippert describe the technology used in their book Visual Studio Tools for Office.

     

    How to this is done, however, is not documented anywhere and is not directly supported by Microsoft. It's also outside the scope of this forum, I'm afraid. I have seen discussions about how best to accomplish what you're looking for in various newsgroups, such as the word.vba.general and the office.developer.automation newsgroups. You'll find links to those groups in the "Please Read First" message at the top of the forum. And a Google newsgroup search should also turn something up.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007 8:02 AM
    Moderator