Guest Post: Resources Available for VSTO Developers Wishing to Customize the User Interface

[Guest Post by Marty Andren, Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft] As a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer / Office Developer, a question I’m often asked when helping customers develop VSTO solutions is how to customize the user interface when building out their application. This question is not as simple as it sounds, as the approach used… Read more

Roadmap for Apps for Office, VSTO, and VBA

Note:  This post is simultaneously published both to the VSTO blog and to the apps for Office blog.  To learn more about apps for Office, visit With all the buzz around the new apps for Office programming model, developers might be wondering: What benefits does the new app model bring, and which of the… Read more

Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012: Now Available with Office 2013 and .NET Framework 4.5 support

I’m pleased to announce that the official Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 is now available to download! For VSTO developers, this release brings .NET 4.5 support and design-time support for Office 2013, along with general design-time enhancements and bug fixes to the VSTO Runtime (released separately a few months ago via our download… Read more

Creating a Bootstrapper package for an Office 2013 VSTO Add-in with Visual Studio 2012

UPDATE from July 2014:  INSTRUCTIONS FOR UPDATING AN EXISTING BOOTSTRAPPER: On the build machine (which might be the same as your development machine), open the “product.xml” file under C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v8.1A\Bootstrapper\Packages\VSTOR40 For “Program Files (x86)”, substitute “Program Files" in you’re on a 32-bit operating system. For “v8.1A” (which is the location used by VS… Read more

VSTO Developer Center is now part of the Office Developer Center

In order to provide a more integrated experience for folks building custom solutions on the Office platform, we’ve merged the content from the VSTO Developer Center into the Office Developer Center. You’ll still find great learning content there including: Getting Started with Office Development with Visual Studio (VSTO)  Excel Solutions Write code to work with… Read more

Performance Improvements Coming Soon to a Service Pack Near You (Stephen Peters)

With the SP1 work winding down, I thought that I’d take a moment and discuss three new performance improvements that are going into VSTO for SP1. We have listened to your feedback and understand that startup time is a major issue, and so we have focused on attempts to make the VSTO runtime load faster…. Read more

Channel 9 Interview: Office Add-in (VSTO) Performance Tips & Tricks (Beth Massi, Stephen Peters)

In this interview, I sit down with Stephen Peters, a developer on the Office client tools team in Visual Studio. Steve shows us a couple of tricks for how you can squeeze the best performance out of Office solutions built with Visual Studio (VSTO). He also shows how to finely control the way your custom… Read more

Sharing a Ribbon Customization Between Office Projects in Visual Studio 2010 (McLean Schofield)

A customer on the VSTO forums recently noticed that the steps we blogged about for sharing a single Ribbon customization between multiple projects in Visual Studio 2008 no longer works in Visual Studio 2010. When following the instructions in the blog post, you get an error when you try to open the Ribbon code file… Read more

Troubleshoot VSTO Add-In Load Failures (Navneet Gupta)

We have helped many developers in troubleshooting VSTO add-in load failures. Hamed has written a very nice blog post explaining the basic steps to troubleshoot VSTO add-in load failures. Even if you have not faced this issue yet, I recommend reading the post because it contains basic information about Office add-ins that developers should know…. Read more

Creating an Add-in for Office 2007 and Office 2010 that "Lights Up" on Office 2010 (McLean Schofield)

Managed Office add-ins traditionally have been able to run in the targeted application (the version of the application whose PIAs the add-in references) and in later versions of the application. Therefore, if you need to create a single VSTO add-in that can be run in multiple versions of an application, the typical guidance is to develop the add-in by using a project template… Read more