The final version of Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Office System (VSTO 2005 SE) is now available for download from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=5E86CAB3-6FD6-4955-B979-E1676DB6B3CB&displaylang=en. The major highlights of this release include:

 

  • New projects and a new programming model for creating add-ins for six applications in the 2007 Microsoft Office system and five in Microsoft Office 2003.
  • Tools and enhanced APIs for customizing the Ribbon UI and creating custom task panes in add-ins for 2007 Microsoft Office applications that support these features.
  • Support for creating Outlook form regions in add-ins for Outlook 2007.
  • VSTO 2005 SE is a free download, and you can install it on top of Visual Studio 2005 Professional or higher.

We have also updated the VSTO 2005 documentation (that is, the Whidbey release of VSTO) so that it now covers features in both VSTO 2005 and VSTO 2005 SE. You can view the revised VSTO 2005/VSTO 2005 SE documentation on the MSDN Web site at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/d2tx7z6d(VS.80).aspx. A locally installable version of the revised VSTO 2005/VSTO 2005 SE documentation will also be included in an upcoming MSDN Library update for Visual Studio® Team Edition for Database Professionals, which is planned to be available for download in the next month or so.

 

To get acquainted with the new add-in projects and related features in VSTO 2005 SE, the following topics are a good place to start:

 

Because many features are available in one version of VSTO 2005 but not the other, most topics in the VSTO documentation now begin with a note that explains which version of the product the topic applies to. For example, document-level customization projects for Word 2003 and Excel 2003 are only available if you install VSTO 2005, and most add-in projects are available only if you install VSTO 2005 SE. 

 

If you have any feedback regarding the documentation or requests for topics that cover specific scenarios, please leave us your feedback in a comment. If you run into issues with installing or using VSTO 2005 SE, you can always use the VSTO forum: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=16&SiteID=1.

 

-McLean Schofield

 

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