Creating Office COM add-in in Delphi

Add-in Express™
for Microsoft® Office and Delphi® VCL

Microsoft Office extensibility and Add-in Express

Add-in Express for Office and Delphi VCL supports all types of application-level customization for Microsoft Office 2021 - 2003 (32bit and 64bit), including COM Add-ins, smart tags, Excel RTD servers and Automation add-ins. For each plug-in type Add-in Express supplies you with effective project templates, Office-optimized Delphi components and visual designers that implement all necessary technology-specific features.

Office COM add-ins

Add-in Express for Office and Delphi implements all COM-interfaces required by the COM Add-in specification such as IDTExtensibility2 and IRibbonExtensibility. It delivers components and designers for standard customization of the Office GUI (menus, toolbars, ribbons, etc.) as well as for enhanced customization, e.g. Advanced Outlook Form and View Regions. Finally, using the built-in Office Automation Server components and specially-designed event helpers, Add-in Express provides access to Office objects and their events.

COM add-ins based on Add-in Express work on all Office applications supporting this technology, namely:

  • Excel 2000 - 2021
  • Outlook 2000 - 2021
  • Word 2000 - 2021
  • PowerPoint 2000 - 2021
  • Access 2000 - 2021
  • Project 2000 - 2021
  • Publisher 2003 - 2021
  • Visio 2002 - 2021
  • OneNote 2010 - 2016
  • InfoPath 2007 - 2013
  • MapPoint 2002 - 2013
  • FrontPage 2000 - 2003

Office smart tags

For Office smart tags, Add-in Express supports both versions of the Smart Tag technology by implementing the ISmartTagRecognizer and ISmartTagRecognizer2 interfaces and allows you to create static or dynamic recognizers (stand-alone smart tags or smart tag libraries). A smart tag project based on Add-in Express can include one or several smart tags, and each of them may contain its action list and one or several recognizable words (phrases, masks, etc.) or realize a dynamic recognizer. See an example of creating smart tags in Delphi.

Smart tag projects based on Add-in Express work on all Office applications supporting this technology, namely: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2002 and higher.

Excel RTD servers and user-defined functions

In addition to common Office plug-ins, Add-in Express supports two Excel-specific extensions: real-time data servers and automation add-ins. An RTD server can make Excel a client for any real-time data sources. RTD projects based on Add-in Express are inprocess-servers (DLLs) and may contain an unlimited number of RTD topics. Automation add-ins allow you to create custom functions that the end-user can use in formulas on his workbooks. See how to develop RTD servers and Excel Automation add-ins step-by-step.

Both technologies work on Excel 2002 - 2021/365.

The best platform for your Office plug-ins

The fact is that VB6 is not supported by Microsoft any longer while it was one of the best platforms for Office customization. Microsoft's attention has turned to the .NET Framework, VB.NET and C#. Office extensions are becoming overgrown with more and more additional technologies that complicate Office development, encumber deployment and slow down the performance of Office solutions. Office developers definitely need a better alternative.

Today the bundle of Delphi and Add-in Express can become the best platform for your Office extensions due to a perfect Delphi compiler that produces fast and compact Win32 and Win64 binaries, and Add-in Express components that make Office development comfortable and enjoyable. See a sample Office COM add-in project in Delphi.

Add-in Express for Office and Delphi components for COM Add-in, Smart Tag and RTD Server