Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 22. Smart Tags
Chapter 22. Smart Tags
In this chapter, I discuss the programmatic control of smart tags. Note that to create custom smart
tags, we need to use an application that can create automation servers (COM DLLs), such as
Visual Basic or Visual C++. Custom smart tags cannot be created in Excel XP, although existing
smart tags can be controlled programmatically.
22.1 What Are Smart Tags?
Since smart tags are new to Office XP, let us begin with a brief description of their purpose. To
illustrate the concept of a smart tag, imagine that you type a date, such as January 1, 2002, in
Word XP (with smart tags turned on). The smart tag system recognizes the text "January 1, 2002"
as a date and underlines it with a dotted line. If you then place the mouse over the date, a small
button that looks like an "i" with a circle around it (a smart tag action button) appears. Clicking on
this button drops down a list of actions, as shown in Figure 22-1 .
Figure 22-1. The smart tag actions menu
From this menu, as the name suggests, we can choose an action to perform, such as scheduling a
meeting on this date. Indeed, if we click on this action, Microsoft Outlook's appointment dialog
will open, wherein we can set up the meeting.
Figure 22-2 i llustrates the use of smart tags in Excel XP. Here we have entered a stock ticker
symbol into a worksheet cell, whereupon leaving the cell Excel XP will recognize the symbol as a
smart tag type. (Excel XP comes with some built-in smart tag recognizers, as can be seen from the
smart tag tab of the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.)
Figure 22-2. A smart tag in Excel XP
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