VSTO for Outlook HowTo: add button to toolbar, how to
create Outlook plugin / addin, commandbar in C#, VB.NET

Add-in Express™
for Microsoft® Office and VSTO

See the most recent documentation in the Add-in Express Developer Guide:
Creating a sample VSTO add-in for Outlook

Add-in Express .NET for VSTO and Outlook add-ins

Add-in Express has a lot of advanced features for VSTO Outlook add-in developers that can save a lot of your time when building an Outlook plug-in interface. Here are some of them:

  • Creating Outlook Explorer and Inspector command bars at design-time.
  • Toolbars can be shown or enabled for selected folders only.
  • Command bars automatically support the multi-explorer and multi-inspector modes.
  • Creating option pages for the main Options dialog and property pages for the Folder Properties dialog at design-time. See Option pages and Property pages components.
  • Several Outlook-specific version-independent event helpers to handle all Outlook events.
  • Trusted add-ins.

Add-in Express for VSTO works with Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 (SE) as well as with VSTO 2008 and VSTO 2010 and allows developing COM add-ins for Microsoft Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007.

VSTO HowTo for Outlook plug-ins

How to create my Explorer and Inspector toolbars in VSTO?

To create Outlook Explorer and Inspector CommandBars at design-time use the popup menu or the commands in the Command Panel.

Creating Outlook Explorer and Inspector toolbars

How to show my Outlook Explorer toolbar for the Inbox folder only?

Add-in Express for VSTO Outlook commandbar component provides you with the FolderName property for automatic showing / hiding Outlook CommandBars for a given folder. Just change the FolderName value to a full name of the Outlook folder which the VSTO CommandBar should be shown for.

Showing Outlook Explorer Toolbar for the Inbox folder only

How to show an Explorer toolbar of my VSTO Outlook add-in for any folders?

In the FolderNames property, specify full names of the folders that your CommandBar should be shown for.

Showing Outlook Explorer Toolbar for any given folders

How to show Outlook toolbar for all mail folders and contacts?

Besides specifying folder names, you may want your VSTO CommandBar to show up for certain folder types. Use the ItemTypes property provided by Add-in Express for VSTO.

Showing Outlook toolbar for all Outlook mail folders and Outlook contacts

How to add a button and popup to my Outlook toolbar?

Use familiar Visual Studio interface to add any command bar controls. Use the AdxCommandBarControl to add built-in Outlook toolbar controls onto your VSTO commandbar.

Adding Toolbar Button and Toolbar Popup to Outlook toolbar

How to add an option page at design-time?

Use standard Add New Item command to create an Options page in Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 SE - 2010.

Adding an option page at design-time

For more information, please see how to place any custom .NET control on Outlook toolbar. See also a sample Outlook VSTO add-in with source code.