.NET components to customize Office menu bar
toolbar, ribbon in C#, VB.NET, C++

Add-in Express™
for Microsoft® Office and .net

Add-in Express for Office and .NET components

Add-in Express .NET sets you free from the necessity of mastering the arcane nature of Office's ActiveX interfaces and the technological specificity of COM add-in and plug-in development by adding several components that implement properties, methods and events of corresponding objects and COM interfaces. These components are command bars and menus, ribbons, menu items and buttons (command bar buttons), edit and combo boxes (command bar combo boxes), smart tag recognizers, smart tag actions, RTD topics, etc.

All Add-in Express components are grouped into three namespaces - AddinExpres.MSO, AddinExpress.SmartTag, AddinExpress.RTD. Using Add-in Express components you can develop a simple add-in in Visual Studio .NET in about 15 minutes.

You can find more details about Add-in Express components in the Developer's Guide: Office Ribbon control components and Commandbar UI components.

COM Add-in components

MS Office Object

Add-in Express Component

Technology-specific objects and interfaces

COM Add-in Module

  • IDTExtensibility2
  • IRibbonExtensibility

COM Add-in Module

It is the main module of any add-in project that centralizes the add-in's logic and its command bars, toolbars, menus and ribbons, provides access to host application objects, and more.

Visual designer

COM Add-in module

Components and classes

  • Host application events

Event components

Some Office application events are important for Office developers. In order to organize a pool of these events and correctly handle them, all these events are wrapped by special components.

Event components

  • Application-level keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcut component

The component allows you to create a new or override an existing keyboard shortcut.

Keyboard Shortcut component

  • ID-based built-in Office toolbar controls associated with standard commands of your host applications

Built-in Control Connector component

The component allows you to intercept actions of any ID-based built-in controls of your host application. For example, you can handle the Click event of the Send button in Outlook.

Built-in Control Connector component

  • Multiple add-ins in one assembly
  • Word smart documents
  • Excel smart documents
  • Excel UDF add-ins
  • Excel sheet events
  • Outlook property pages
  • Outlook Folders collection events
  • Outlook Folder.Items collection events
  • Outlook Item object events

Additional modules

Add-in Express provides several additional modules that you can use to create several add-ins in one assembly, to add a new option page to the main Outlook Options dialog and new property pages for the Outlook Folder Properties dialog, to bind your add-ins to Excel or Word documents, to develop new Excel worksheet functions. Each of the additional modules is similar to the COM Add-in Module and has its own visual designer.

Additional classes

Several additional class templates provided by Add-in Express are event helpers. The classes allow you to synchronously handle events of the Folders and Folder.Items collections and the Item object in Outlook, and the Worksheet object in Excel.

Add-in Express items in the Add New Item dialog in Visual Studio

Visual components

Office 2000 - 2007 menus and toolbars

  • Application- and document-level menu bars and command bars

Command Bar component

Add-in Express includes a unified command bar component that you can use to create a custom toolbar (command bar) or modify any existing (built-in) command bar including menu bars and pop-up menus. The component adds, stores and manages all controls that have been added to the command bar with the Controls collection.

Controls Collection Editor

  • Outlook-specific toolbars

Outlook Explorer and Inspector Command Bar components

For Outlook developers, Add-in Express offers two Outlook toolbar components, for the Explorer and Inspector windows.

The former adds a new toolbar / command bar or modifies the existing ones on the Outlook Explorer windows, the latter customizes toolbars on the Inspector window.

Outlook Explorer Command Bar components Outlook Inspector Command Bar components

  • Toolbar (command bar) buttons
  • Menu items
  • Pop-up menu items
  • Edit boxes
  • Combo boxes
  • Dropdown lists
  • Pop-up menus
  • Built-in command bar controls
  • Advanced command bar controls

Command Bar Control components

In the Controls collection of the command bar components, you can use all toolbar controls provided by the Office object model, including CommandBarButton (represents menu items or buttons on a command bar), CommandBarComboBox (edit and combo boxes, dropdown lists), CommandBarPopup (represents sub-menus or pop-up menus on a toolbar). In addition, you can place on your toolbars any ID-based built-in controls as well as any .NET controls.

Command Bar Button properties

Office Ribbon UI

  • Ribbon Tab
  • Office Menu
  • Quick Access Toolbar

Ribbon components

To make the support of Office 2016 - 2007 easier, Add-in Express offers three components that empower you to customize Ribbon tabs, the Office Menu and Quick Access Toolbar.

Ribbon Tab component Ribbon Quick Access Toolbar component Ribbon Office Menu component

Visual designer for Office Ribbon

Smart Tag components

MS Office Object

Add-in Express Component

Technology-specific objects and interfaces

Smart Tag Module

  • ISmartTagRecognizer
  • ISmartTagRecognizer2

Smart Tag Module

It is the main module of any smart tag projects that shares one recognizer for smart tag components, centralizes all smart tags and their actions, provides access to host application objects.

Visual designer

Smart Tag module

Smart Tag actions

  • ISmartTagAction
  • ISmartTagAction2

Smart Tag Action component

The Smart Tag Action component provides methods, properties and events to customize any smart tag that is associated with a recognizable word list or a dynamic recognizer. It contains the Actions collection that helps organize smart tag actions and handle them.

Smart Tag Action component

RTD Server components

MS Office Object

Add-in Express Component

Technology-specific objects and interfaces

RTD Server Module

  • IRTDServer

RTD Server Module

It is the main module of any Excel RTD Server projects that shares one IRTDServer for RTD topic components, centralizes all topics, provides access to host application objects.

Visual designer

RTD Server module

RTD Topics

  • RTD Topics

RTD Server Topic component

The RTD Server Topic component provides methods, properties and events to customize any RTD topic's actions that are associated with an item of the RTD function and is handled by the published event.

RTD Server Topic component