Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
An add-in is a program that’s attached to an application to give it additional functionality. To
attach an Excel add-in, use the Add-Ins tab in the Excel Options dialog box.
In addition to the add-ins that ship with Excel, you can download additional add-ins from
Microsoft’s Web site ( ), and you can purchase or download
many third-party add-ins from online services. You can use the coupon in the back of the topic to
acquire a discounted copy of the Power Utility Pak add-in. And, as I detail in Chapter 21, creating
your own add-ins is very easy.
Macros and Programming
Excel has two built-in macro programming languages: XLM and VBA. The original XLM macro
language is obsolete and has been replaced by VBA. Excel 2010 can still execute most XLM
macros, and you can even create new ones. However, you can’t record XLM macros. You’ll want to
use VBA to develop new macros.
Part III of this topic is devoted to the VBA language.
File Format
A key consideration is file compatibility. Excel 97 through Excel 2003 all use the same file format,
so file compatibility isn’t a problem for these four versions. Microsoft introduced a new file format
with Excel 2007, and it’s also used in Excel 2010. Fortunately, Microsoft has made a compatibility
pack available for Excel XP and Excel 2003. This compatibility pack enables these older versions
of Excel to read and write the new file format.
It’s important to understand the difference between file compatibility and feature compatibility.
For example, even though the compatibility pack enables Excel 2003 to open files created by
Excel 2010, it can’t handle features that were introduced in later versions.
Refer to Chapter 4 for more information about Excel’s file format and read Chapter 26
for more information about compatibility issues for developers.
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