Excel versions and Add-Ins

sbendbuckeye

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2003
Messages
440
Hello all,

I am about (I think) to enter the world of Excel Add-Ins. Does anyone recommend any good resources on this subject? I have read the chapter in Helen Fedema's book but I'd like to find a whole book devoted to the subject.

Also, even if there are no version specific code differences do you still need one version for each Access release (eg 97, 2000, etc)?

Thanks for your help, ideas and suggestions!
 

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dk

MrExcel MVP
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
2,942
Hi,

One of the important things to bear in mind is that an add-in is not anything special. It's exactly the same as a normal Excel workbook except:-

1) You can specify that it loads on startup by selecting it through Tools, Addins.
2) No macro warnings will show when the add-in is opened.
3) You can enter a function name without prepending the workbook name e.g. =MyFunction() rather than =MyWorkbook!MyFunction()
4) The file is hidden.

There may be some small things I've missed. My point is, that there won't be any books devoted to it because the subject wouldn't warrant a book. They are a convenient way of packaging a 'sub-application' within Excel but that's it. If you can code a mean workbook then you won't have too much of a problem coding a mean add-in.

As for coding for different versions, the same thing applies as when creating normal workbooks. Ideally you should develop in the lowest version that the addin will be used on. Problems are usually caused by creating an application using a new version of Excel in an older version. If your addin will be used on Excel 97 then try and develop in 97, or at least make sure it's fully tested once you written it. If you have any doubts then you'll usually find someone here who knows the answer to your question :)

HTH
Dan
 

sbendbuckeye

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2003
Messages
440
Thanks, Dan! Let me claify my question. I am talking about using VB6 to create an Excel Add-In. In that case there is a drop down combo box which forces you to select Excel 9.0, Excel 10.0, etc. I apologize for confusing the issue by not asking my question clearly enough.
 

dk

MrExcel MVP
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
2,942
Aah, a COM addin. Well that IS a different subject!

COM addins only work with Excel 2000 onwards so you needn't worry about 97. The best way to ensure compatibility is to install Excel 2000 on your machine and reference that within your project. If it works in 2000 it will work in XP/2003 99% of the time.

As for specific resources for creating addins with Visual Basic, this is a good article. It relates to Outlook but the principles can be applied to Excel. There are also some useful links at the bottom of that specific page.

If you get stuck then you can always post here :)

HTH
Dan
 

sbendbuckeye

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2003
Messages
440
Thanks, Dan. Sorry I wasn't specific enough in my original post. I also owe you another huge thanks because somehow or another about a month ago I ended up on your site and you had a link to this site which is far and away the best Excel site I have found.
 

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