Working with Other Applications
You may have a need to work with other applications when using IDEA. In some cases, it's simply a matter of convenience. Yes, you can easily perform the task in IDEA, but perhaps the other application has some special feature to offer or your colleagues use the other application, making it easier to transport information to them. In other cases, the application may provide special functionality you won't find in IDEA, such as the ability to generate letters. This chapter looks at two such applications, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
It's possible to use Microsoft Word to create letters and other printed material. You could create some of this material in IDEA, but using Word offers an additional level of refinement—your output will look a little more professional. In addition, Word can help you create complex reports. In short, Word is a good choice when you have intricate printed output to produce.
Microsoft Excel provides a place for you to perform additional analysis, create graphs and charts, and exchange data with other people. Of course, you can perform all of these tasks manually, but if you perform them often enough, it makes sense to create applications to perform much of the work for you automatically. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate techniques you can use to interact with Excel from IDEA and IDEA from Excel. By linking the two applications together, you can do amazing things.
Considering IDEAScript and Visual ...