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Making an Excel 2010 add-in

From: Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

Video: Making an Excel 2010 add-in

Excel has found a permanent niche in most corporate environments. Its usage is not limited to accounting tasks either. In this movie, I'm going to show you how to extend it even further by creating your own add-in. Remember that an add-in is an application that is installed once and then loaded each time Excel runs. It's not tied to a specific document. For this demonstration, I'm going to create a custom ribbon inside Excel 2010. I'm inside a project called ProcessAnalyzer. I've already written the demonstration code for today. I'm going to start by showing you how to add your own custom ribbon to an Excel project.

Making an Excel 2010 add-in

Excel has found a permanent niche in most corporate environments. Its usage is not limited to accounting tasks either. In this movie, I'm going to show you how to extend it even further by creating your own add-in. Remember that an add-in is an application that is installed once and then loaded each time Excel runs. It's not tied to a specific document. For this demonstration, I'm going to create a custom ribbon inside Excel 2010. I'm inside a project called ProcessAnalyzer. I've already written the demonstration code for today. I'm going to start by showing you how to add your own custom ribbon to an Excel project.

You right-click on the project, and choose Add > New Item. Here is the ribbon designer that I want to use. Now, I already have a ribbon, so I'm not going to go ahead and click on the Add button. Instead, I'm going to cancel this one and show you the existing ProcessMemoryRibbon I've written. As you can see, it has a designer surface. There's also a special section on the Toolbox that contains Office Ribbon Controls. So if I wanted to, I could take this CheckBox here and then drag it over and drop it on my designer surface.

Of course, I can go to the code behind and manipulate this item, or read this information and push it into the Excel document. Now let me show you what I mean. I have this button here that I've added an icon and some pictures to. You can see it's a Button though. If I switch over to the code behind view by pressing F7, and scroll down here, you can see I've written a Button1_Click procedure. I start by creating a reference to an Excel worksheet. Then I go to the Globals area, and I find the current application.

I get its Worksheet collection, and I tell it to add a brand-new worksheet. Once I've done that, I go into the sheet and I print some text into the A1 cell. I then print some other text into the B1 cell. And then I have a small link query here that goes out and talks to .NET and gets all the running processes on the computer. I then take those, apply a link query to that, and I say, I want to order them By their WorkingSet, how much memory are they using, in a descending order.

Then I select out the processes. Then down here, I take the number of items--five, ten, fifteen, or twenty--and I convert this to Array and assign it to their process. And then down here, I'm going to generate some cells in my spreadsheet. This number is coming from my Ribbon value. If I go back to my Ribbon, you'll see that I have a Count dropdown here, and I've populated this with words like "Five, Ten, Fifteen." So that's why I'm getting that Count value.

As you can see up here on line 20, I'm getting that from the Gallery, my Gallery, SelectedItem.Tag, and then I'm just returning an integer value. So down here, I am iterating over the processes.Length times one--the number of items inside this array--and I'm printing out a cell with the ProcessName, and its WorkingSet. Then I'm changing the NumberFormat for the cell. Once that's done, I select that range, and I create a brand-new chart.

The name of the chart's going to be Memory Used. So, what's going to happen, when you click on my add-in, I'm going to look at the operating system, tell you the number of processes that are using the most WorkingSet memory, and then generate a chart out of that. Does that sound good? Let's see if it works. I'm going to press F5 to run the application, which will launch Excel, load my add-in. My add-in is living in this Add-Ins section. Office 2010 has a separate area for all custom Add-Ins. Here is my item.

Here is my Count. There is Five, Ten, Fifteen, right? So I'll choose Ten. Now, I'm going to click in this button, and it generated this sheet with the names of the processes and the amount of memory used, and it generated this chart, which shows that Visual Studio is using the most memory of all the applications. Now, your user can uninstall this add- in by going to their Add-Ins menu. Or if you're a programmer, you can go to the Developer toolset to remove this.

Let me show you how to do that. I'm going to go to File > Options, click on the Customize Ribbon, and then I'm going to check the Developer tab here and then OK. Now, I have a new tab right here, and I can go into the COM Add-Ins and find out my add-ins. Here is the Load Test Report add-in, and I can uninstall that. The other way to uninstall this is to go back to Visual Studio and choose this Build > Clean Solution.

This will go out and remove it from the list of add-ins to run the next time Excel runs. So, I'll choose Clean Solution for my final demo. This concludes the section on Office automation. Many of the other Office products have similar add-in templates. I encourage you to explore your own ideas in your favorite Office tool.

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This video is part of

Image for Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training
Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

86 video lessons · 30243 viewers

Walt Ritscher
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  2. 7m 19s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio versions
      3m 51s
    2. Setting up your developer computer
      3m 28s
  3. 58m 2s
    1. Creating a Visual Studio project
      4m 58s
    2. Working with Solution Explorer
      6m 32s
    3. Working with big projects
      3m 53s
    4. Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)
      8m 36s
    5. Introducing drag-and-drop UI design
      7m 38s
    6. Working with the Properties window
      6m 44s
    7. Looking at Server Explorer
      7m 4s
    8. Exploring the new Help engine
      6m 41s
    9. Setting options for the IDE
      5m 56s
  4. 39m 25s
    1. Creating a simple WPF application
      1m 32s
    2. Building the UI with the editors
      9m 14s
    3. Working with the application code
      3m 37s
    4. Communicating with the web site
      7m 15s
    5. Connecting your data
      8m 4s
    6. Binding to an RSS feed
      5m 4s
    7. Packaging and deploying the application
      4m 39s
  5. 39m 46s
    1. What languages are supported in Visual Studio 2010?
      1m 17s
    2. Exploring basic settings for the Code Editor
      5m 35s
    3. Writing a C# program
      6m 48s
    4. Writing a VB program
      6m 29s
    5. Working with C++
      6m 38s
    6. Working with F Sharp
      6m 9s
    7. Font and color options
      6m 50s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Formatting your code
      6m 43s
    2. Navigating your code
      7m 44s
    3. Using the Task List
      2m 26s
    4. Commenting your code
      2m 45s
    5. Documenting your code
      8m 26s
    6. Using IntelliSense effectively
      7m 0s
    7. Working with code snippets
      6m 25s
    8. Refactoring your code
      5m 15s
    9. Understanding code generation
      2m 10s
    10. Generating code with T4
      6m 29s
    11. Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools
      5m 51s
    12. Refactoring VB with CodeRush Xpress
      4m 33s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Working with project and item templates
      8m 38s
    2. Creating a console application
      7m 5s
    3. Creating a class library
      6m 26s
    4. Creating a web site with ASP.NET
      7m 37s
    5. Creating a rich internet application with Silverlight
      6m 57s
    6. Creating a classic Windows application with Windows Forms
      10m 31s
    7. Creating a dramatic Windows application with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
      4m 41s
    8. Creating a WCF service
      9m 1s
    9. Using an existing WCF service
      6m 38s
    10. Navigation UI designs with the Document Outline view
      3m 41s
  8. 33m 18s
    1. Creating a data project with SQL Project
      6m 24s
    2. Clarifying the confusion on .NET Data
      3m 31s
    3. Using ADO.NET in your application
      6m 50s
    4. Creating typed datasets
      7m 55s
    5. Using the data binding tools
      8m 38s
  9. 30m 13s
    1. Debugging code
      9m 32s
    2. Working with the Watch and other debug windows
      7m 46s
    3. Other debugging techniques
      6m 50s
    4. IntelliTrace historical debugging in Visual Studio Ultimate
      6m 5s
  10. 17m 56s
    1. Understanding Visual Studio editions and test tools
      2m 22s
    2. Verifying your code with unit tests
      8m 58s
    3. Running performance and load tests
      6m 36s
  11. 34m 5s
    1. Building your application
      4m 19s
    2. Customizing the build process with MSBuild
      6m 36s
    3. Setting assembly information
      2m 12s
    4. Deploying a basic Windows application
      2m 19s
    5. Creating an installer with Visual Studio
      7m 39s
    6. Creating a ClickOnce application
      5m 13s
    7. Setting up IIS for deploy
      2m 9s
    8. Deploying a Silverlight or ASP.NET application
      3m 38s
  12. 14m 0s
    1. Understanding source control
      2m 9s
    2. Setting up Team Foundation Server source control
      3m 5s
    3. Using Team Foundation Server source control
      8m 46s
  13. 17m 31s
    1. Understanding the .NET Office integration
      4m 16s
    2. Making a Word 2010 application
      7m 54s
    3. Making an Excel 2010 add-in
      5m 21s
  14. 31m 34s
    1. Understanding the extensibility model in Visual Studio
      2m 17s
    2. Adding external tools to the Tools menu
      4m 42s
    3. Creating macros
      7m 16s
    4. Using the Extension Manager
      5m 1s
    5. Creating an MEF add-in
      7m 9s
    6. Deploying and installing an add-in with VSIX
      5m 9s
  15. 25m 34s
    1. Working with configuration files
      5m 37s
    2. Using the Settings Editor
      7m 30s
    3. Using the Resources Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Localizing your resources
      5m 28s
  16. 1m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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