Today we announced the Beta release of Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 Second Edition (VSTO SE). This version of VSTO is a free download that you add to Visual Studio 2005 Pro or VSTO 2005. VSTO SE enabled Office 2007 add-in development and it also enables Office 2003 add-in development for the big 6 Office apps: Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Visio and InfoPath. InfoPath even has designtime support like Word and Excel in full version of VSTO 2005.

Download and install on top of VS 2005 Pro (or above) or VSTO 2005

Download VSTO 2005 SE

To try out the Office 2007 features download Office 2007

Download Office 2007 Beta 2 Tech Refresh

This product is cool in so many ways:

  • It’s Free. Man I never get tired of saying that. This is really going to bring Office development to the masses. Now there are no excuses not to use VSTO to create super Office applications.
  • More Apps. VSTO SE now supports more applications. Customers have been asking for PowerPoint support. Here you go. Customers have been asking for Visio support. Here you go.
  • Fully Supported. VSTO add-in development is fully supported by Microsoft. There are also many ways to get help when you need it. The VSTO forum is watched like a hawk by the VSTO team and other members of the VSTO community including are MVPs. Many VSTO members like myself pickup issues from the forums and then blog about the solutions in detail. Online VSTO documentation on MSDN is really good and I find many of my answers there.
  • 2003 and 2007. Now you can create add-ins that work across both 2003 and 2007.
  • Ribbon, Custom Task Pane and Outlook Form Regions are all supported by VSTO SE.

Did I mention that it is free?

Read the official announcement here.

The VSTO for Mere Mortals book I just finished with Kathleen we have a big chapter on how develop Office 2007 using VSTO 2005 SE. Look for the book to be in bookstores in December.