Visual Studio Tools 2010, 2008 - creating add-in
for Microsoft Office in VSTO: VB.NET, C#

Add-in Express™
for Microsoft® Office and VSTO


  • VSTO 2005 SE
  • VSTO 2008
  • VSTO 2010
  • Visual Basic® .NET 2005
  • Visual C#® .NET 2005
  • Visual Basic® .NET 2008
  • Visual C#® .NET 2008
  • Visual Basic® .NET 2010
  • Visual C#® .NET 2010
  • Delphi Prism 2009, 2010, 2011, XE


  • Microsoft® Outlook® 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft® Excel® 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft® Word 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft® Visio® 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft® InfoPath® 2007, 2010

Add-in Express for Microsoft Office and VSTO technology is now available for our custom development services only. Please note, the most popular technology included in Add-in Express for VSTO was released as a separate product, Add-in Express Regions for Outlook and VSTO.

Add-in Express for VSTO is an extension of Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office designed for creating application-level add-ins for Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, InfoPath, and Visio. The main destination of Add-in Express is to provide you, a VSTO developer, with a solution that allows you to create powerful Microsoft Office plug-ins with far less coding than you have to do now.

Add-in Express for VSTO is developed in Visual C# and directly supports Visual Basic .NET (VB .NET) and Visual C# on Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO 2005 SE, and VSTO 2008 and VSTO 2010).

Visual designers instead of routine coding

Add-in Express offers a lot of tricks to VSTO developers, but its main feature is visual designers that give you the following features that VSTO lacks:

  • Design-time support of custom Ribbon tabs, Microsoft Office menu, Quick Access Toolbar, command bars and commandbar controls, menu items, context menu items.
  • Adding Microsoft Outlook options page and folder property pages at design-time.
  • Trapping any built-in controls on Microsoft Office toolbars and ribbons, and handling them in your own way instead of the standard one.
  • Version-independent event processing.
  • Context-sensitive binding of your toolbars or their separate controls.
  • Determining keyboard shortcut processing settings at design-time.
  • Adding Action Panes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word 2003 and custom Task Panes in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 at design time.

The crucial thing is that you concentrate on your applied code that automates and handles Microsoft Office objects and solves your applied task.

Developing add-in / plug-in in VSTO 2005, 2008

Main benefits of Add-in Express for VSTO

Component-centric programming model

Add-in Express organizes your VSTO development over a set of Microsoft Office-specific components. You use components and their designers every time you need to create a new Microsoft Office toolbar or to connect to an existing toolbar, to customize your own ribbon tab, to add new items to Microsoft Office menus, etc. All your work is centralized by Add-in Express components. Learn more...

Visual designers instead of coding

In most cases, you use visual designers instead of routine coding, say, when customizing Microsoft Office menus, toolbars, ribbons, handling Microsoft Outlook events, creating task panes, adding keyboard shortcuts, developing Microsoft Outlook view and form regions, property pages, deploying and redeploying projects and more. Learn more...

Complete support of the classic GUI and the Ribbon UI

Add-in Express completely supports the classic Microsoft Office 2003 GUI as well as the newest Microsoft Office Ribbon UI. For Microsoft Office 2003 you can freely customize its toolbars and menus; for Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 you can add your own ribbon tabs and customize the Office Menu and Quick Access Toolbar. Learn more...

Any .NET controls on Microsoft Office toolbars

In addition to standard toolbar controls available in Microsoft Office 2003, you can place any .NET controls on your Microsoft Office 2003 toolbars. For example, you can use date-time pickers, grids, treeview, lists, etc. on any Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint toolbars. It works for Microsoft Outlook 2007 as well. Learn more...

Advanced features for Microsoft Outlook

Add-in Express for VSTO supplies your Microsoft Outlook projects with powerful Outlook-specific features such as Advanced Microsoft Outlook Regions, option and property pages, shortcuts for the Microsoft Outlook Navigation Pane, event helpers for the Folders, Items and Item objects. For the first time, with Add-in Express you can customize any Microsoft Outlook views and forms using .NET controls and forms. Learn more...

Custom task panes, action panes, keyboard shortcuts

With Add-in Express for VSTO you create custom action panes and task panes in few seconds. A special component centralizes all your task panes and binds them to Microsoft Office applications. In the same manner you can add your own application-level keyboard shortcuts. For example, in your add-in / plugin you can override the Ctrl-S and Ctrl-Shift-S shortcuts to intercept the built-in "Save and SaveAs" behavior. Learn more...

Security and deployment experience

Add-in Express extends your VSTO projects with its components and follows your security and deployment model. All parts of Add-in Express are transparently integrated into the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE and your VSTO and setup project. Learn more...

True RAD - you write applied code only

Add-in Express is a time-saving tool. It is completely based on the Rapid Application Development (True RAD) paradigm and empowers you to significantly speed up the development and deployment for Microsoft Office. Learn more...