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This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions to get you proficient with creating high performance production quality Excel add-ins. You will learn how to install the components you need, how to build add-ins and create beautiful documentation directly from the source code, and how to debug the code you write.


The xll library has three components. The first component Contains the header files and library for creating Excel add-ins. The second component creates a new project template in Visual Studio 2010 for creating Excel add-in projects. The third component is Microsoft's HTML Help Workshop that can be used to produce nativley integrated Excel help files.
  1. Installing the xll library: Open and run setup.msi.
  2. Installing the project template: Open and run project.msi.
  3. Installing help file generation: Go to HTML Help Workshop and install htmlhelp.exe.

New Project

In any version of Visual Studio 2010 choose File|New>Project..., select Visual C++, and locate XLL Addin Project in the main window. You can change the Name and Location, or leave them as is, then click OK.


To build the project select Build|Build Solution or just press F7. The Output window should indicate the build succeeded.


Click to the left of any line In the souce file to set a break point. Select Debug|Start Debugging or just press F5 to start Excel an load the add-in. Type XLL.FUNCTION(1) in a spreadsheet cell and press the Enter key. You should see Visual Studio show up with a yellow cursor pointing at the line with the breakpoint.

Last edited Nov 25, 2011 at 7:11 PM by keithalewis, version 10


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