Chapter 49. Visual Studio Tools for Office


  • What types of projects you can create with VSTO and what capabilities you can include in these projects

  • Fundamental techniques that apply to all types of VSTO solutions

  • Using host items and host controls

  • Building VSTO solutions with a custom UI

Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) is a technology that enables you to customize and extend Microsoft Office applications and documents by using the .NET Framework. It also includes tools that you can use to make this customization easier in Visual Studio — for example, a visual designer for Office Ribbon controls.

VSTO is the latest in a long line of products that Microsoft has released to allow the customization of Office applications. The object model that you use to access Office applications has evolved over time. If you have used it in the past, then parts of it will be familiar to you. If you have programmed VBA add-ins for Office applications, then you will be well prepared for the techniques discussed in this chapter. However, the classes that VSTO makes available so that you can interact with Office have been extended beyond the Office object model. For example, the VSTO classes include .NET data binding functionality.

Up until Visual Studio 2008, VSTO was a separate download that you could obtain if you wanted to develop Office solutions. Starting from Visual Studio 2008, VSTO was integrated with the VS IDE. The previous version of VSTO, which was also known as VSTO ...

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