CHAPTER 16Creating and Using Add-Ins

What Is an Add-In?

One of Excel's most useful features for developers is the capability 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 application to give it additional functionality. Excel ships with several add-ins. Examples include the Analysis ToolPak (which adds statistical and analysis capabilities) and Solver (which performs advanced optimization calculations).

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 Excel.

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

Get Excel 2019 Power Programming with VBA now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.