Microsoft Office is the most used software suite in business. Providing the main stay of most office activities. Add-Ins extend its functionality and integration.
For some of us at Excel Frome, writing Excel Add-Ins for Microsoft Office is a mainstay of our activities.
The ability to extend the abilities of Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint. To link them together, and to add new functionality that you may never dream of is inviting and useful.
The raison d’etre for the Excel Add-In Is that it constitutes the easiest and best method of deploying and using Excel solutions.
An example of an Excel Add-In
I wrote my first set of add ins many years ago. I had a job as an onscreen proof reader / editor, using Word 6.
This meant reading lots of legal documents. Correcting the spelling, punctuation and then formatting it all.
This was my first experience with using Word. Hence, also my first experience with recording Macros. After many hours of programming, I was able to sit back and watch my computer do 90% of the work. THIS is what it all came to be about for me, this was the first time I’d really got a computer to do a job for me and it felt great!
I just had to press a few buttons, and go and make the tea. An hour or 2 later the macro’s had finished. Leaving me to do a quick scan over the documents to make sure nothing had gone wrong, and PAYDAY.
A year or so later I, a small local company approached me. They, it turned out – had done something that many small companies have done.
They had started out creating Excel spreadsheets to run their business. Over time, the system got more and more complex. Until, a couple of years down the line, the system was almost unmanageable.
By the time I visited them, the cumbersome system had evolved
Much of their time was spent carrying out repetitive processes.
Activities such as:
Building tables, copying ranges of data, pasting files between applications and so on.
They needed a way to simplify and speed up their activities. To become more productive with their time.
The answer was, and still is the same. A range of technologies called the .NET framework. Which form the basis for Microsoft Windows and hence for Microsoft Office.
When working with a company, to help them be more efficient. Its rarely about just writing new software. Often its about looking at how the staff already do their jobs. Then we find new ways to make their work easier.
A few extra buttons on the ribbon, or a new cell function can really help. This is what an Excel Add-In will do