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Excel® 2010 Power Programming with VBA by John Walkenbach

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Chapter 21: Creating and Using Add-Ins

IN THIS CHAPTER

Getting the scoop on add-ins

Exploring Excel's Add-In Manager

Create an add-in

Comparing XLSA add-in files to XLSM files

Viewing VBA code that manipulates add-ins

Detecting whether an add-in is installed properly

What Is an Add-In?

One of Excel's most useful features for developers is the ability to create add-ins. Creating add-ins adds a professional touch to your work, and add-ins offer several key advantages over standard workbook files.

Generally speaking, a spreadsheet add-in is something added to a spreadsheet to give it additional functionality. For example, Excel ships with several add-ins. One of the most popular is the Analysis ToolPak, which adds statistical and analysis capabilities that are not built into Excel.

Some add-ins also provide new worksheet functions that you can use in formulas. With a well-designed add-in, the new features blend in well with the original interface, so they appear to be part of the program.

Comparing an add-in with a standard workbook

Any knowledgeable Excel user can create an add-in from an Excel workbook file; no additional software or programming tools are required. You can convert any workbook file to an add-in, but not every workbook is appropriate for an add-in. An Excel add-in is basically a normal XLSM workbook with the following differences:

The IsAddin property of the ThisWorkbook object is True. By default, this property is False.

The workbook window is ...

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