Andrew Whitechapel

Shiny things that caught my eye
Posts
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO Add-ins, COMAddIns and RequestComAddInAutomationService

    • 73 Comments
    The COMAddIns property is a collection of COMAddIn objects exposed by Office applications that support COM add-ins. The COMAddIn interface defines a small number of methods/properties, such as the ProgId of the add-in and the Connect state. It also defines...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Creating a PivotTable Programmatically

    • 59 Comments
    I received an email from a customer the other day asking how to set up an Excel pivot table programmatically. The Excel OM exposes a number of objects and methods that you can use to create pivot tables, some more sophisticated than others. I wanted the...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Updated COM Shim Wizards

    • 56 Comments
    In our spare time, Misha and I have been working on and off on the COM Shim and associated COM Shim Wizards for the last few years, and we've just published a new version here: Isolating Microsoft Office Extensions with the COM Shim Wizard Version 2.3...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Building an Excel XLL in C/C++ with VS 2008

    • 49 Comments
    As part of a little investigation I'm doing at present, I needed to build some simple native XLLs for testing purposes. This was the first time I had a need to build XLLs since the Excel XLL SDK was updated back in September. The updated Excel 2007 XLL...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO Loader and Runtime Components

    • 42 Comments
    Perusing the forums over the last few months, it’s clear that there’s some confusion about the various VSTO loader and runtime components. At the time of writing, there are 4 versions of VSTO in existence, including 4 sets of design-time tooling and 3...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO Add-ins for Access?

    • 34 Comments
    In my previous post , I looked at how the VSTO add-in model is flexible enough to be used in prototyping scenarios for versions of Office not yet released. In principle, the same applies to Office host applications that are not currently supported. ...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO/VSTA Power Tools v1.0

    • 33 Comments
    As I announced at the Office Developers Conference in San Jose this week, we’re releasing a set of power tools that complement the developer’s experience when building Office-based or VSTA-based solutions. These tools are freely downloadable here . We...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    COM Shim Wizard 2.3.1.0

    • 33 Comments
    We’ve released a slight update to the COM Shim Wizard. This is available as a free download here , and the covering article is on MSDN here . The differences Between v2.3.0.0 and v2.3.1.0 are summarized below. Setup The major difference between...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Can you build one add-in for multiple versions of Office?

    • 31 Comments
    This of course is the advantage of using the old "shared add-in" project types – you can build one add-in that targets all versions of all Office apps that support COM add-ins (ie, 2000 onwards). The question is, can you do something similar with VSTO...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Why is VS development not supported with multiple versions of Office?

    • 27 Comments
    First, the Office client apps are COM-based. Normal COM activation relies on the registry. COM registration is a "last one wins" model. That is, you can have multiple versions of a COM server, object, interface or type library on a machine at the same...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    WPF in VSTO

    • 19 Comments
    Can you use WPF controls in VSTO solutions, and if so, how? VSTO's mission is to bring together the unmanaged Office platform and the managed development world. One aspect of this is the ability to build VSTO solutions that use managed controls within...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    AddInSpy - Diagnosing/Troubleshooting Office Add-ins

    • 15 Comments
    AddInSpy is a new diagnostic tool for reporting the maximum possible information about all Office add-ins registered on a machine. This is a free (unsupported) download, available on MSDN Code Gallery here . Covering article on MSDN here . In fact...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Why your COMAddIn.Object should derive from StandardOleMarshalObject

    • 14 Comments
    In general, it is important that any code in a managed Office add-in should execute on the main UI thread. The reason for this is that there are several components that simply will not work when executed from any other but the main UI thread – examples...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Implementing IMessageFilter in an Office add-in

    • 13 Comments
    First a warning: this is an advanced scenario, and you should not attempt to use this technique unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. The reason for this warning is that while the technique described here is pretty simple, it’s also easy to get...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Delay-loading the CLR in Office Add-ins

    • 11 Comments
    Suppose you control your enterprise desktops to the extent that you control which add-ins are installed. Suppose, further, that you want to avoid the hit of loading the CLR at application startup. One way is to delay-load your managed add-ins. The registered...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Add-ins for Multiple Office Versions without PIAs

    • 10 Comments
    In a previous post , I discussed how you could build an add-in for multiple versions of Office, and explained the problems in this approach (and why it is not officially supported). One of the reasons this is not supported is because you end up building...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    COM Shim 2.3.1.0 Bug Fixes

    • 10 Comments
    A customer (VSP) was using the COM Shim and identified a scenario where a bug in the shim code could cause the host application to remain in memory indefinitely – thanks, VSP for finding this and bringing it to our attention! Misha did some ninja debugging...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Preserving the alpha channel when converting images

    • 10 Comments
    Here is a guest post by Eric Faller, Ribbon developer guru and all-round nice guy. It's a follow-up to my post about converting between the image formats used by Office and the .NET framework. I’ll be talking about handling the alpha channel (transparency...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Low-level support for ICustomTaskPaneConsumer, IRibbonExtensibility, FormRegionStartup, etc.

    • 10 Comments
    I’m mostly interested in the runtime aspects of VSTO, and less interested in the RAD design-time aspects (however wonderful they are), and in this post I want to explore some of the low-level infrastructure that the VSTO runtime provides. As a developer...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Using Managed Controls as ActiveX Controls

    • 9 Comments
    Can you use a managed usercontrol in an Office document in the same way that you can use a native ActiveX control – all without using VSTO? Some time ago, I posted about how to use native ActiveX controls within a doc-level VSTO solution, by wrapping...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Exposing Events from Managed Add-in Objects

    • 8 Comments
    Following on from my recent posts on exposing add-in objects, here and here , it occurred to me that its sometimes useful to be able to expose events from these objects. Recall that you can expose your add-in through the COMAddIn.Object property in the...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Demand-Loading VSTO Add-ins

    • 8 Comments
    In an earlier post , I talked about how you could delay (or prevent) the loading of managed code using a native add-in. In that post I also listed the standard LoadBehavior settings, and I was assuming that everyone knows how these apply, but I got a...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Version-Specific UI in Add-ins

    • 7 Comments
    Continuing on from my earlier posts on building add-ins for multiple versions of Office , avoiding the PIA version conflict , and add-ins for multiple versions without PIAs , a reasonable way to design your solution would be to use the lowest-common-denominator...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    Synchronizing Ribbon and Task Pane

    • 7 Comments
    The new custom task pane model in Office 2007 is interesting. It certainly opens up a wide range of opportunities for providing a better user experience than the doc-level ISmartDocument-based task pane. It’s also interesting in that it provides some...
  • Andrew Whitechapel

    VSTO 'v3' CTP Released

    • 6 Comments
    As you can imagine, we're working hard on the early stages of our Orcas release of Visual Studio. VSTO is the one SKU of Visual Studio that is closely aligned with Office. So, as we make our CTP (Community Technology Preview) releases between now and...
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