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Creating Add-Ins

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Creating Add-Ins.

Any Excel workbook can be converted to an add-in. The steps you need to follow to create an add-in are very precise, and may seem a bit overwhelming (particularly the first couple of times you do it). To create a protected add-in file, follow these steps:

  1. Load the workbook that is destined to become your add-in.
  2. Start the Visual Basic Editor by choosing Macro from the Tools menu, then choosing Visual Basic Editor.
  3. At the very top of the Project window, select the bold entry that declares the name of the VBA project that is open.
  4. Choose the Properties option from the Tools menu. This displays the Project Properties dialog box.
  5. Make sure the Protection tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Protection tab of the project's Properties dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Lock Project For Viewing check box is selected.
  8. Enter a password in both fields at the bottom of the dialog box.
  9. Click on OK. The dialog box closes.
  10. Close the Visual Basic Editor and return to the Excel workbook.
  11. Choose Properties from the File menu. This displays the Properties dialog box for your workbook.
  12. Make sure the Summary tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  13. Figure 2. The Summary tab of the workbook's Properties dialog box.

  14. Make sure the Title field is filled in. What you enter here will appear in the Add-Ins dialog box used by Excel.
  15. Make sure the Comments field is filled in. What you enter here will appear in the description area of the Add-Ins dialog box used by Excel.
  16. Click on the OK button to close the dialog box.
  17. Choose Save As from the File menu. This displays the Save As dialog box.
  18. Using the Save As Type pull-down list, specify a file type of Microsoft Excel Add-In (*.xla).
  19. Specify a name for your add-in file in the File Name field.
  20. Click on Save. Your add-in file is created.
  21. Close the workbook you just saved as an add-in.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2927) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Creating Add-Ins.

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