.NET4Office

A blog by Eric Carter

  • .NET4Office

    Writing user defined functions for Excel in .NET

    • 16 Comments
    I've updated this article with some new guidance-- for the details, see this post . Excel enables the creation of user defined functions that can be used in Excel formulas. A developer must create a special kind of DLL called an XLL. Excel also allows...
  • .NET4Office

    Your guide to VSTO 2.0 (and 3.0) at PDC

    • 12 Comments
    If you are lucky enough to be attending PDC, there are going to be lots of VSTO goodies for you to check out. There will be a lot of information on VSTO 2.0 including an entire day preconference on VSTO 2.0 ( PRE10 ). In addition, PDC is the time to announce...
  • .NET4Office

    Bear and the berries

    • 11 Comments
    I talked to a Really Smart Guy TM at Microsoft yesterday about community and Microsoft's efforts in the community. The question I was trying to get answered was--is Microsoft approaching community in the right way? Would a Microsoft employee's time...
  • .NET4Office

    Type.Missing, C#, and Word

    • 11 Comments
    Recently there was a little bit of a ruckus about the correct way to talk to the Word object model in C# when it comes to missing arguments. If you've ever used the Word PIAs with C# (Primary Interop Assemblies) you will be familiar with the coding practice...
  • .NET4Office

    VSTO 2.0 and Cached Data: Goodbye Hidden Sheets, Hello Server!

    • 10 Comments
    Paul Cornell blogs about cached data in VSTO 2.0 . I gotta tell you—cached data is one of features I’m most excited about in VSTO 2.0. First some background: Office programming is different from traditional WinForms programming...
  • .NET4Office

    So what are these Host Controls you speak of?

    • 9 Comments
    Host controls are at the heart of the VSTO 2.0 programming model. What are they, how and when do you create them, and what do they do for you? What is a Host Control? We provide several host controls in the VSTO 2.0 programming model. For Excel, we...
  • .NET4Office

    VSTO “v3”-an early look at our direction

    • 8 Comments
    At PDC we showed an early alpha build of VSTO v3 that gave attendees an idea of where VSTO v3 is going. Here are some of the early themes of VSTO v3: Works with Office 12 VSTO v3 will target Office 12. We plan to make all the features in VSTO...
  • .NET4Office

    New VSTO 3.0 and Office 2007 Book Hot off the Presses

    • 8 Comments
    I’m excited to announce that I have completed a new book on VSTO 2008 and Office 2007 that is hot off the presses.  I just got a copy in the mail and as my editor said, it’s a “big baby”, 1055 pages of VSTO 3.0 goodness. This book was an interesting...
  • .NET4Office

    Updated Instructions for Writing User Defined Functions for Excel in .NET

    • 7 Comments
    I updated a very popular blog post I made several years ago with some little additions and corrections that I think make the process of creating a user defined function (e.g. a custom function to use in Excel formulas) easier to create in Visual Studio...
  • .NET4Office

    VSTO support for Outlook

    • 7 Comments
    Steve Ballmer announced VSTO support for Outlook add-ins in his Tech-Ed keynote today. This is exciting news--VSTO Outlook add-ins solve all the problems people have encountered while trying to build managed COM add-ins for Outlook using IDTExtensibility2...
  • .NET4Office

    Bill Gates announces availability of the VSTO "v3" Community Technology Preview (CTP)

    • 7 Comments
    Today at the Office Developer Conference in Redmond, Bill Gates announced the immediate availability of a Community Technology Preview of Visual Studio Tools for Office 'v3'. This CTP release works against the Beta 1 Technical Refresh of Microsoft Office...
  • .NET4Office

    VSTO 'v3' CTP for Office 2007 Beta 2

    • 7 Comments
    The VSTO 'v3' CTP for Office 2007 Beta 2 is available now. Start playing with Office 2007 development and the next version of VSTO today. First you need to get Office 2007 Beta 2: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx Then...
  • .NET4Office

    Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) Launches at PDC

    • 6 Comments
    From the team that brought you Visual Studio Tools for Office--we announced a new product today called Visual Studio Tools for Applications. Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) is a .NET-based application customization technology designed to...
  • .NET4Office

    When is .NET for Office?

    • 6 Comments
    Thomas Williams asks “When is .NET for Office..I’m sick of using VBA!” Good question! To some extent, .NET for Office is here today. This year, my team released a new product in the Visual Studio product family with the mind-numbingly...
  • .NET4Office

    Advice for Emerging Platforms

    • 6 Comments
    If I was to go work for another team inside Microsoft right now, I think the team I’d be most tempted to work for is the Outlook team. Why?—because in my opinion at least, Outlook is the next big emerging developer platform at Microsoft...
  • .NET4Office

    Fun with Excel--setting a range of cells via an array

    • 6 Comments
    A developer on my team was recently trying to set the contents of a small column of excel cells to an array of values. This is a desirable thing to do—if you are setting a range of values in Excel, it is much better to create an array and make one...
  • .NET4Office

    VSTO 2.0 Managed Control Support: Primary and Extender

    • 6 Comments
    VSTO 2.0 has a feature that allows you to embed any WinForms control you want into an Excel spreadsheet or Word document. This lets you use lots of powerful WinForms controls in your Office solution. When you add a managed control to your document (by...
  • .NET4Office

    Coming to grips with the mess of types in the Office PIAs

    • 5 Comments
    Have you ever looked at the Excel PIA “Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel” using the object browser in Visual Studio and just been blown away and confused by what you see there? For example, consider what .NET Interop does to the simple...
  • .NET4Office

    Excel PIAs: Who you calling Dummy--Dummy?

    • 5 Comments
    When you look at the Excel PIA in the object browser in Visual Studio, you will quickly notice what appears to be method centric name calling: a slew of methods with the text “Dummy” in them. There's even an interface called IDummy (implement...
  • .NET4Office

    Introducing OfficeWiki.net - An experiment in community Office PIA documentation

    • 5 Comments
    You may be aware that there isn't documentation available right now for the Office PIA's (Microsoft.Office.Interop.Word.dll, Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.dll, and Microsoft.Office.Core.dll). There will be official Microsoft documentation available at...
  • .NET4Office

    Office Object Model Thoughts

    • 5 Comments
    Currently, one of the greatest obstacles faced by Office developers is the difficulty of using the Office object model. Just calling the object model the “Office object model” is incorrect—it is really several separate object models...
  • .NET4Office

    More about the VSTO 2.0 Programming Model--introducing Views

    • 5 Comments
    I wrote in some detail about view controls earlier. My hope in this entry is to give you a slightly higher level view of the programming model and to introduce the concept of views. To begin, we will examine the programming model created in VSTO...
  • .NET4Office

    FAQ: Why do my forms in my managed add-in or VSTO 2003 look Windows 95-ish

    • 5 Comments
    This is a frequent question that comes up. You develop a managed add-in or VSTO 2003 code behind. You show a windows form and yuck--it looks like Windows XP never happened. The buttons aren't pretty like the Windows XP buttons. Everything looks circa...
  • .NET4Office

    Add-in Shimming Wizard!

    • 5 Comments
    I've talked at some length in this blog about the importance of shimming your managed add-in so it can live in its own appdomain and not do damage to other add-ins. Also, while I'm on the topic, please don't force a particular version of the CLR--always...
  • .NET4Office

    Fun with Shimming Wizards, Shimming and Outlook

    • 5 Comments
    As promised, I thought I'd report on my experience with the new Shimming wizards that I blogged about earlier . The wizards are available for download here . I've been working mainly with Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 and the 2.0 CLR. Silly me...
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