Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
5. Extending Excel with Excel Apps and Add-Ins
5. Extending Excel with Excel Apps and Add-Ins
Although Excel can do amazing things, it cannot do everything. Plenty of niche
industries need more functions or more specialized operations than what are
available in Excel.
Sometimes, someone recognizes a common need. After seeing dozens of questions
in Excel newsgroups about converting uppercase to lowercase, for example,
a developer might offer an add-in to make that task easier than the current
five-step process.
Prior to Excel 2013, these add-ins would be written in Visual Basic for Ap-
plications (VBA) to create a regular add-in or in Visual Studio to create a
COM add-in. Starting in Excel 2013, the Excel team debuts the Excel App. Found
under Insert, Apps for Office, an Excel App is built in JavaScript or HTML5.
Microsoft is hoping that many third-party developers begin writing apps for
the Office Store that are free or inexpensive.
As I am writing this chapter, there are a small handful of apps in the App
Store. This chapter walks you through installing an app and how to use some
of the useful apps that were released early in the Excel 2013 cycle. By the
time you are reading this, there will likely be hundreds of new apps avail-
able. The process for locating, installing, and using any app will be similar
to the examples explained here.
Using Apps for Office
To start using Apps for Office, go to the Insert tab, open the Apps for Office
drop-down, and choose See All.
Excel shows you a few featured apps, as shown in Figure 5.1 . This is not the
complete list of apps. You can click the icon in the lower-left corner of the
Insert App dialog to browse more apps at the Office Store.
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