Eugene Starostin

Add-in Express 2009 – Beta 2 drag-and-drop

It seems like after another new visual feature being added to Add-in Express 2009, our screenshots look more and more variegated. Awfully variegated, I would say. For example, this one:

Drag and drop for Outlook regions

What can I do about this?! I really wanted the little – to demonstrate in just one screenshot that, in Beta 2, support of drag-and-drop was added for Outlook view and form regions (as well as for Excel, Word and PowerPoint task panes). At last! Below I will depict a couple of things that are most essential for developers…

By default, drag-and-drop is disabled

It is done this way to retain the complete compatibility with existing code based on the previous versions of Add-in Express for Office  (yes, we’ve been consistently adhering to the 100% compatibility approach). I guess there are not so many developers who design their embeddable forms so that they look equally good in all regions, whether it be a region to the right of the Outlook Reading pane, below the Navigation pane or any other Outlook region different from the one chosen at design-time. That is why if you want to enable drag-and-drop for your form, do it through the ADXOlFormsManager.Item(x).IsDragDropAllowed property (or ADXExcelTaskPanesManager, ADXWordTaskPanesManager, ADXPowerPointTaskPanesManager for Excel, Word and PowerPoint respectively). See the drag-n-drop feature in Add-in Express 2010 task panes.

Select the regions to which the end-user can drag your form

All the complexity of creating the form that will look equally fine in all regions is patently clear to us. That is why we require that you explicitly specify the regions to which the user can drag your form. For this purpose use the ADXOlFormsManager.Items(x).ExplorerAllowedDropRegions property (or InspectorAllowedDropRegions for Outlook inspectors, or xxxTaskPanesManager.Items(x).AllowedDropPositions for Excel, Word and PowerPoint task panes).

Region and task pane headers

Oh yes, like all other windows in Microsoft Windows, your forms can be dragged only by catching their headers. That is why once you enable drag-and-drop for your form, the AlwaysShowHeader property is automatically set to true with all the ensuing consequences:)

Updated: See the new capabilities of Advanced Office task panes in Add-in Express 2010.

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Custom task pane for Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint in Add-in Express 2010

Last updated on 27-April-2010.

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