Types of Add-ins

From a user’s perspective, an add-in is a file that you load by selecting Tools → Add-ins from within Excel. Add-ins extend Excel in some way and usually display a toolbar or add menu items as a way to get at their features.

Table 22-1 lists the add-ins that ship with Excel. There also are many free sample add-ins available by searching http://office.microsoft.com/ for “Excel add-ins.”

Table 22-1. Add-ins installed with Excel

Add-in

Provides

Adds menu item

Analysis ToolPak

Advanced functions for financial and scientific data analysis

Tools → Data Analysis

Analysis ToolPak VBA

Support for using the Analysis Toolpak functions from Visual Basic

None

Conditional Sum Wizard

Formulas to sum data in lists

Tools → Conditional Sum

Euro Currency Tools

Conversion and formatting for the Euro currency

Tools → Euro Conversion

Internet Assistant VBA

Support for saving worksheets as HTML from Visual Basic

None

Lookup Wizard

Wizard to help create formulas to find value in a range

Tools → Lookup

Solver

What-if analysis of data

Tools → Solver

From a developer’s perspective, add-ins are Excel applications without a worksheet interface. Instead, add-ins act on objects in the currently loaded workbook. There are two main types of add-ins:

  • Code-only add-ins provide user-defined functions that can be used from Excel formulas or within Visual Basic.

  • Visual add-ins provide wizards or toolbars to help users performs specific actions.

Some add-ins combine these two types. ...

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