Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating an Add-In
WHy crEATE An ExcEl Add-in?
Add-ins commonly use VBA macros, event procedures, User Defined Functions,
and UserForms to make everyday tasks faster and easier to accomplish. Many Excel
users don’t find the need to create an add-in, but here are some reasons why you
might want to:
Add-in files are hidden and therefore provide seamless integration to open
Excel workbooks. Novice Excel users won’t need to worry about opening
an add-in once it’s been loaded, and they won’t wonder about an extra open
Excel file because add-ins cannot be seen or unhidden.
Even if the macro security is set to its most restrictive level, the VBA
programming for an installed add-in can still run.
Add-ins open automatically when Excel starts.
The custom feature(s) contained within the add-in file are usually available to
any of the open workbooks.
The programming code is contained in the add-in file itself, and does not travel
with the workbooks that use it. This gives you more control over how the file
is distributed and who can access its code.
Where add-ins really shine is in their ability to perform actions on several
objects, such as cells or sheets, that if done manually would be cumbersome,
time-consuming, and require some knowledge of Excel for the user to
complete. Novice Excel users will especially appreciate the ease of clicking a
button to do tasks that they might not know how to do manually, or might not
know the most efficient methods by which to handle those tasks quickly.
crEATing An Add-in
You create an Excel add-in file manually, but you make its features available by using VBA. To
create an add-in, the first thing you do is open a new workbook. Because you’ll be adding VBA code
that will become the add-in’s functionality, you’ll want to test and retest your code before releasing
the add-in for others to use. I mention this obvious point because if your add-in deals with
manipulating worksheets in the active file, you’ll need to observe the code’s effect on those worksheets to
make sure everything is working properly. Once you convert the workbook to an add-in, you’ll no
longer be able to view the worksheets, so you’ll want to construct and test all your code before
converting your workbook as an add-in.