Excel Programming

An Excel Programmability blog by Gabhan Berry

Blog - About

About Me

I work in the Excel engineering team as a Program Manager which means that I spend my time designing and building features of Excel. Before I joined Microsoft, I worked for a variety of software companies - from start-ups to large, multi-national corporations. I've spent almost all of my career building data analysis applications of one shape or another using C++, VB and Excel - but nowadays I'm moving over to .NET. Before all of that (and longer ago than I can believe) ... I studied Mathematics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. 

  • Excel Programming

    Custom Task Panes

    • 5 Comments
    A Custom Task Pane (CTP) is a user interface component in Office which is used to provide a non-modal window. Some of Excel's features, such as the PivotTable field list and Reseach tool, use CTPs. CTPs are exposed to customer extensions via the Office...
  • Excel Programming

    How to code a .NET RefEdit Control

    • 12 Comments
    One of the controls frequently used by Excel is the reference edit box. This control is used to gather a range address from the user. The user specifies the range either by typing in its address or by using the mouse and clicking on the actual cells they...
  • Excel Programming

    Upcoming Topics

    • 2 Comments
    I know that posts have been few and far between (ok ..non-existant) this month. I hope this isn't something that will be repeated ... this month has just been crazy busy with deadlines (I'm sure you know that feeling...) Anyway, I have a healthy backlog...
  • Excel Programming

    Busy Times ... and a Note about my TechEd Sessions

    • 0 Comments
    Busy times at Microsoft has meant that I've been slower than usual in posting recently. My current expectation is to be over my heavy workload by about mid-June. I'll continue to post in the meantime; but at a slower pace. TechEd is being held in Orlando...
  • Excel Programming

    Writing Custom Excel Worksheet Functions in C#

    • 16 Comments
    Writing our own, custom worksheet functions is a great way to extend Excel. Before Excel 2002 we developed custom functions by either writing them using VBA inside an XLA or by using C/C++ inside an XLL. Excel 2002 introduced a new type of addin called...
  • Excel Programming

    Using Statistics in Business Intelligence

    • 1 Comments
    One other area I work in is Business Intelligence. These days BI is an important technology to an increasing number of companies. There are many great BI tools out there, one of which is (of course) Excel. One of the things that makes Excel such a...
  • Excel Programming

    OOXML wins ISO Vote

    • 0 Comments
    Office Open XML (OOXML), the XML file formats used by Office 2007, today won the ISO vote which paves the way for it becoming an ISO standard. This is very exciting news indeed for Excel programmability. Coupled with the new Open XML SDK that we announced...
  • Excel Programming

    Open XML SDK Roadmap Announced

    • 1 Comments
    The new XML file formats in Office 2007 open the door to lots of exciting programmability solutions. For example, the files can be created and consumed without automating Excel.exe. This really helps server-side solutions. It also aids batch processing...
  • Excel Programming

    Analysing Column Data using C# (... with a little Custom Drawing thrown in for fun)

    • 5 Comments
    When presented with a table of data in Excel, sometimes it is useful to be able to learn some quick facts about it. One quick fact which is often useful is the distribution of values within a particular column. For example, if we have a column called...
  • Excel Programming

    Using Custom Functions in Dynamic Ranges

    • 2 Comments
    Named ranges are great. They enable us to assign a name to a collection of cells and use that name in code and worksheet functions. However, named ranges tend to be static. That is, they tend to represent a fixed set of cells, such as, A1:E100. But sometimes...
  • Excel Programming

    Ribbon Customisation Links

    • 3 Comments
    I thought it would be useful to provide a list of some good articles on customising the Office ribbon: 3-part Article on Ribbon Customisation ; Ribbon Developer Centre ; Jenson Harris' blog ; Repurposing Commands on the Ribbon ; Hiding...
  • Excel Programming

    Excel Event Handling in C#

    • 4 Comments
    After I posted about getting up-and-running with managed code and Excel , I realised that I was really writing a brief introduction to coding a C# Excel addin. Then I realised that there are two more areas that need to be covered before we would be ready...
  • Excel Programming

    The Woes of Excel's Optional Parameters and C# ... a (potential) Workaround

    • 8 Comments
    When coding in C# with Excel, it doesn't take long before you encounter the dreaded 'optional parameter' issue. If you have ever copied-and-pasted numerous System.Reflection. Missing .Value statements then you've probably wondered a few things. Firstly...
  • Excel Programming

    Creating Custom Calculated Members and Sets in OLAP PivotTables

    • 1 Comments
    If you are using PivotTables against an OLAP data source you may find it useful to be able to create your own custom, calculated measures and sets. These calculations are client-side meaning they exist inside Excel and you don't have to change the server...
  • Excel Programming

    MSDN Code Gallery

    • 1 Comments
    We have recently launched a code sharing community web site called MSDN Code Gallery . MSDN Code Gallery hosts code snippets and entire projects that have been shared with the community. You can publish your own code or search for and download other...
  • Excel Programming

    Using Cell Text to Filter PivotTables

    • 10 Comments
    Sometimes it would be useful to be able to use cells to select items in a PivotTable. For example, let's say we have a PivotTable containing a field called Region. Instead of using the filter dropdown to select the region from a list it would be nice...
  • Excel Programming

    Excel and Managed Code ... How does that work?

    • 3 Comments
    As well as C/C++ and VBA, I'll be blogging a lot about managed code. So I figured it would be useful to lay out the basics of how Excel and managed code interoperate today. If you write Excel addins you’ve probably seen articles like this one that...
  • Excel Programming

    Well ... let's get started

    • 9 Comments
    <Fanfare>Hello. My name is Gabhan and this is my new blog dedicated to Excel Programming.</Fanfare> I work as a Program Manager on the Excel product team and I thought it would be useful/fun/exciting to dedicate a blog to programming with...
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