One of our clients has a complex Excel 2007 spreadsheet they need to do some automation with. The current solution involves lots of manual steps to create charts in a PowerPoint presentation. To this end I started researching how to add items to the ribbon bar so they could automate tasks with Macros.
However, when I started looking into it more deeply I discovered you could easily create plugins using Visual Studio and manipulate spreadsheets and most of the Office 2007/2010 suite using the Office.Interop DLL.
These are the helpful resources I used to get some development underway:
- Custom UI Editor Tool – This tool allows you to manipulate the Ribbon using only XML. You can then use defualt icons and OnAction events to call functions held in your spreadsheet. This means you could ship a spreadsheet template (.xlst) or macro enabled worksheet (.xlsm) with built in ribbon items.
- Screencasts about building Ribbon Controls (etc) – I found this one especially useful and I’ve recreated the solution only using the Excel application model (rather than word), available on my SkyDrive
Next thing for me to learn and post about is doing something useful in C# to change the Excel Data…