Learning Center - Add-in Express for Office and .net

Office General - Articles

  • Add-in Express and Office add-ins: Getting started
    Pieter van der Westhuizen explains the key features of Add-in Express when creating an Office add-in that is shared among Excel, Word and Outlook. The article covers entry points, Add-in module, UI, accessing Office objects, Office events, etc.
  • 100% version neutrality for your Office extensions
    From this article you can learn the basics of version-neutrality, which is one of the key features of the Add-in Express architecture.
  • Office Advanced Task panes - Basic concepts
    This page explains the basic concepts of advanced Office task panes, an enhanced alternative to native Office custom task panes introduced in Office 2007. In contrast to custom Office task panes, the advanced task panes are version-neutral and work for all Office versions, from 2000 to 2021.
  • Smart Tags and Add-in Express
    The post demonstrates how smart tags can still play a role in building an integrated system that provides users with up to date real-time data, and describes creating a sample smart tag to display product information within Excel, Word and Outlook.
  • Complete Guide: Getting started with Add-in Express for Office and .net
    End-to-end samples from the Developer's Guide will show you how to get started with programming your Office extensions. All sample projects, such as Office COM add-in, Outlook add-in, RTD server, smart tag, XLL add-in and Excel Automation add-in, are illustrated with screenshots and code examples.

Office General - Videos

Microsoft Outlook - Articles

  • Outlook add-in development for beginners
    This multi-part tutorial explains the main aspects of creating Outlook add-ins with Visual Studio and Add-in Express.
  • Customize Outlook Ribbon and command bars in a single add-in
    The article accompanied with short videos shows how to create custom ribbon tabs and command bars in a single add-in with one code base. Sample VB.NET add-in for Outlook is available for download.
  • Outlook Advanced Regions - Basic Concepts
    This page describes the key features of Advanced Outlook Form and View Regions. Using this truly unique technology, you can extend any built-in views and forms as well as views and forms delivered with any Outlook-based clients such as Outlook Business Contacts Manager or Microsoft CRM Outlook Client.
  • Outlook Advanced Region Types
    On this page you will find a complete overview of all Outlook region types and Outlook panes supported by Add-in Express.
  • Outlook context sensitivity
    Add-in Express makes it possible to display your custom UI elements based on various Outlook components. Developers can control what UI elements to show based on the folder content and/or the various Outlook item types (Mail, Appointment, Contact, etc.). This post demonstrates how to use this powerful feature in a sample Microsoft Outlook add-in.
  • Outlook Advanced Inspector Regions and Add-in Express
    This post shows how to add extra functionality to the Outlook Inspector objects using advanced Outlook form and view regions.

Microsoft Outlook - Videos

  • Add-in Express for Office architecture and programming model
    Ty Anderson provides a very accessible explanation of the Add-in Express architecture and programming model while building a sample Outlook add-in project. The video shows how to work with the Add-in Module to create common items like ribbons, task panes, keyboard shortcuts, etc.
  • Build and control Advanced Outlook Regions in Add-in Express
    No matter how good a program like Outlook is, it doesn't meet every need and people start wondering how they might customize it. Situations like these is why Add-in Express exists - it allows you to customize Outlook's user interface while also giving you tools for incorporating "your own way of doing things" (aka your custom processes or workflows, data needs, etc.). In this video, Ty explains how to do this with advanced Outlook regions.
  • Outlook context sensitivity
    Making your Outlook add-ins "context aware" is a pain-free endeavor with Add-in Express. You don't need to write any code to do it. In typical, Add-in Express fashion, it can be done by configuring a few properties in your add-in's Visual Studio project. Watch the video to see it in-action.
  • Outlook Solution Modules
    In Office 2010, Microsoft introduced the Outlook solutions module to give us, developers, the capability to create custom modules for Outlook. The video shows how to use Add-in Express to build an Outlook add-in that utilizes the Outlook Solution Module.

Microsoft Excel - Articles

Microsoft Excel - Videos

  • Creating Excel add-ins
    The video shows how the Excel add-in developer can quickly create a COM add-in for Excel, build a custom ribbon and a toolbar, create advanced task panes, add custom keyboard combinations and more.
  • Creating managed Excel UDFs
    Add-in Express for Office and .NET supports two methods for building custom UDFs: Automation Add-ins and XLL add-ins. Each have their pros and cons and this video provides some guidance for when to choose an XLL.
  • Building an Excel RTD server
    Using Add-in Express you have the tools you need to rapidly start building a Real-Time Data (RTD) Server for Excel. This video shows you how to use Add-in Express for Office and .NET to create a simple RTD.
  • Developing Excel Automation Add-ins
    This video explains the differences between an UDF built with an Automation Addin and one built as an XLL. If you are looking to extend Excel with custom functions, watch this video.

Other Office Applications - Articles

  • Word add-in development for beginners
    This is a multi-part series that covers the main aspects and specificities of creating COM add-ins for Microsoft Word.
  • PowerPoint add-in development in Visual Studio
    PowerPoint is often underappreciated as an add-in target. In this series of articles we will give PowerPoint some love and attention by explaining its base objects and providing code samples.
  • Programming for Microsoft Project
    Microsoft Project, as with all the applications in the MS Office suite, provides developers with a rich object model. This, combined with the power of Add-in Express, makes Microsoft Project a prime candidate for customization.
  • Microsoft Office Project and Add-in Express
    This post demonstrates how you can write an add-in to integrate Microsoft Office Project and Outlook and vice versa.
  • Microsoft Office Access and Add-in Express
    This post shows how you could leverage your clients' current MS Access systems' functionality whilst simultaneously introducing some of the new systems' features. It describes building an add-in that gives the user additional functionality depending on the form they have open in MS Access.
  • Microsoft Office Visio and Add-in Express
    The beauty about Add-in Express is that it allows you to write add-ins for those Microsoft Office applications that you wouldn't even have thought it possible. In this post we create an add-in for MS Visio that automatically builds an Organizational chart.

Deployment - Articles

  • Deploying Office extensions - step-by-step guide
    Add-in Express allows deploying your Office extension using Windows Installer, ClickOnce and ClickTwice :) This 8-part series of articles explains what features are supported by each of the three technologies and provides step-by-step guidance on how to deploy your extensions.
  • Deploying your Add-in Express solutions
    Pieter van der Westhuizen gives a quick overview of three deployment methods supported by Add-in Express: ClickOnce, MSI based installer and ClickTwice :) (aka web-based MSI installer).

Deployment - Videos

Office General


Microsoft Outlook - Articles

Microsoft Outlook - Videos