Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Task Pane: Application-level customization
Task Pane: Application-level customization
The Microsoft Office 2007 system provides a wealth of interface enhancements that
make common tasks easier, and enhance user productivity. Microsoft has changed
the way in which developers can create form-based solutions, by making Office 2007
development more consistent with development for other Microsoft Office products.
In this section, we shall see how the Task Pane can be used to customize the user
interface of Microsoft Office Word 2007 by using VSTO.
Normally, in Microsoft Office Word, to show some additional information or
to gather user inputs from the user, it is necessary to use dialog boxes or forms.
These forms and dialog boxes have several disadvantages. Forms don't provide
programming language support for customization, and they appear inside the
document content area. Dialog boxes appear as pop ups, and many users don't
like this kind of interaction.
To overcome these disadvantages and deliver a rich user interface, Microsoft
has come up with the Task Pane feature in Microsoft Office Word. Task Panes in
Microsoft Office Word help you to get work done efficiently by bringing the tools
you need right up close to your work. A Task Pane functions like a toolbar in that
you can move it around on the screen, dock it horizontally or vertically, or detach
it and keep it floating on the screen.
What is the Task Pane?
The Task Pane is one of the new features that have been included in Microsoft Office
2003/XP, and now in Microsoft Office 2007. The Microsoft Office system introduces
custom task panes that give you the tools to provide the features and the information
that your customers need.
A Microsoft Office 2007 Task Pane can contain one or more pages, and each page
is broken up into sections. Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the 2007 Microsoft
Office system has opened up the Task Pane to developers in a new way. It enables
developers to add Windows forms controls to the Task Pane, and interacts with the
active document through the host's object model.
The Task Pane is a dockable dialog window, that appears on the rightmost side of
the Microsoft Office Word application. You can also press the shortcut key Shift +
to display the Search Task Pane. The Task Pane is context-sensitive, changing F7
depending on the action. For instance, when you select Custom Animation , the
Task Pane will change to show animation attributes and effects.
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