Invoking Native Excel UDFs From Managed Code (Pt1)

As part of a little ongoing investigation, I wanted to communicate between a managed add-in and a native XLL UDF. As I was writing this up, it turned out to be a much longer post that I planned, so I’ve split it into two parts (I’ll post the second part in the next week or…


Building an Excel XLL in C/C++ with VS 2008

As part of a little investigation I’m doing at present, I needed to build some simple native XLLs for testing purposes. This was the first time I had a need to build XLLs since the Excel XLL SDK was updated back in September. The updated Excel 2007 XLL SDK is available for free download here….


PDC 2008

Hard on the heels of the Office DevCon, we’ve just announced the dates for the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008. Heads-up below. When: October 27–30, 2008, Pre-conference October 26, 2008Where: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA PDC is the definitive Microsoft event for software developers and architects focused on the future of the Microsoft…


Do You Know the Way to San José

Momentum is gathering for the 2008 Office Developer Conference, and here’s the skinny:   When: February 10-13, 2008 Where: San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA Who: 2000 developers and architects who build solutions on the Office platform.   The event will include the usual MSFT suspects, the usual key partner suspects, and anyone else…


Implement ICustomTaskPaneConsumer in C++

The new extensibility interfaces introduced in Office 2007 are implementable via add-ins. Add-ins can be managed or unmanaged (native). If you’re using VSTO, development is greatly simplified. However, if you want to build a native add-in to implement one of these interfaces, life is a little more complex – and there doesn’t seem to be…


VSTO + WPF + WCF + LINQ (MSDN Article)

There’s an article in this month’s MSDN magazine on building Office-based solutions using VSTO with WPF, WCF and LINQ. The point of the article is to affirm that all these disparate technologies do indeed work well together, and that the design-time experience of building such a solution is suitably RAD. The article is also online…


COM Shim CLR Loader Bug

The latest version of the COM shim wizards was released back in the summer, here. With the help of Adam Smith of Xobni (and of course, the indispensable Misha), we’ve identified a minor bug with the project code that the wizard generates for the shim. In fact, this bug was identified prior to the last…


Sharing Code Between Add-ins

Suppose you want to build a Ribbon customization, or a custom task pane, and you want to use this customization in multiple add-ins? For example, you might want to use the same customization in say an Excel add-in and a PowerPoint add-in. It’s pretty simple to achieve this: all you need do is abstract common…


Preserving the alpha channel when converting images

Here is a guest post by Eric Faller, Ribbon developer guru and all-round nice guy. It’s a follow-up to my post about converting between the image formats used by Office and the .NET framework.  I’ll be talking about handling the alpha channel (transparency) of the images, mentioned at the end of that post and in the…



Can you use WPF controls in VSTO solutions, and if so, how? VSTO’s mission is to bring together the unmanaged Office platform and the managed development world. One aspect of this is the ability to build VSTO solutions that use managed controls within native Office windows. There are 5 places you can do this: ·        …