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How many versions of Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) are there, and what are the differences between them? RRS feed

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  • How many versions of Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) are there, and what are the differences between them?



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    Sunday, February 8, 2009 12:07 PM
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Answers

  • As time elapses, the Visual Studio Tools for Office enhances features and functionality in each version. The following list describes the four versions of Visual Studio Tools for Office:

    1.       VSTO 2003 (VSTO v1 runtime) supports document-level customizations for Excel 2003 and Word 2003.

    2.       VSTO 2005 (VSTO v2 runtime) ships with the Visual Studio 2005 Professional edition and Visual  Studio Team System (VSTS) 2005. It can also be installed as a standalone product. This version of VSTO can be only be used to develop the document level customizations for Word 2003 and Excel 2003, InfoPath 2003 template project, and Outlook 2003 application level add-in. Microsoft Office 2007 is not supported in this version.

    3.       VSTO 2005 SE (VSTO v2 runtime). This version is a Visual Studio package that allows us to develop the application level add-ins for both Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007. It is only 6.1MB in size and can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft Download Center. This version only supports development for add-ins in Office 2003 and 2007. The document-level customization project templates are not included. 

    4.       VSTO 2008 (VSTO v3 runtime) ships with Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition or above. It consists of the VSTO and VSTO SE’s templates and provides the Office 2007 document level projects template as well.

    5. VSTO 2010 (Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime) ships with Visual Studio 2010 Professional edition or above. It supports creation and editing of document- and application-level add-ins for Office 2007 and Office 2010. Support for Office 2003 is not included. Change from classes to interfaces to support the new, optional "embed interop types" functionality making VSTO solutions version-independent.

    6. VSTO 2012  (Visual Studio 2012 Tools for Office Runtime) ships with Visual Studio 2012 Professional edition or above (but must be downloaded separately).  It supports creation and editing of document- and application-level add-ins for Office 2010 and Office 2013. Support for Office 2003 and Office 2007 is not included. Also included are the templates for "Apps for Office", but this is not a discussion topic in the VSTO forum.

    7. VSTO 2013 (Visual Studio 2013 Tools for Office Runtime) ships with Visual Studio 2013 Professional edition or above, out-of-the box.  It supports creation and editing of document- and application-level add-ins for Office 2010 and Office 2013 and includes templates "Apps for Office" (Support questions: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/vstudio/en-US/home?forum=appsforoffice). VSTO 2013 supports the .NET Framework 4.5.2. Also new is support for signing with SHA256 certificates and easier unit-testing

    Besides these four versions, Visual Studio 2008 SP1 also introduces an important new feature of VSTO, although it does not bring any new project/item templates. In previous versions, we can only add the managed controls onto the document surface in document-level customizations. Visual Studio 2008 SP1 allows add-ins to take advantage of features that were previously only available to document-level customizations (e.g databound ListObject NamedRange, ability to have Managed Controls). For more detailed information, please refer to “How can I add a managed control onto the document surface in Add-in?” in this FAQ series.

    For more FAQ about Visual Studio Tools for Office, please see Visual Studio Tools for Office FAQ


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    Sunday, February 8, 2009 12:08 PM
    Moderator