Add-ins – Excel Loader – A standalone utility to start Excel and load selected add-ins

Add-ins – Excel Loader – A standalone utility to start Excel and load selected add-ins

This is the last post about add-ins and Windows registry. You can find the previously posts at the following URLs:
Add-ins – Where does Windows store the information?
Add-ins – Working with Windows registry

Before setting the focus on the tool I would like to explicit thanks the following kind people who have helped me out in various ways:

My good friends in the UK:
– Richie Sill (testing the tool and also correct my poor English (not yet done) )
– Will Riley (testing the tool)
Friends in the Netherlands:
– Jan Karel Pieterse (basic testings of the tool with Excel 2007)
– Jurgen Volkerink (aka KeepItCool) for some interesting input and knowledge about COM add-ins and especially about the COM add-ins for the VB-editor.

Any eventually remaining bug(s) or weird behavior(s) of Excel Loader can only be booked on my account.

Excel Loader
Below is a screenshots that shows the main dialog of the tool. Initially the tool read the present settings for the available add-ins when an Excel version has been selected. In the first column (Name) the file name of the add-ins (XLA/XLL) and the ProgID for the COM add-ins are viewed. Additional information about pathways, type of add-in and their status are showed in the second column.

ExcelLoader

The steps to work with the utility are the following:

# 1 Start Excel Loader.
# 2 Choose version of Excel (only installed versions can be used and so called ghost versions, i e removed previously versions, are ignored).
# 3 Choose if Excel will start with a new workbook or with an existing workbook.
# 4 Choose which add-ins should be loaded (checked) or not (unchecked) when Excel is launched.
# 5 Launch Excel by clicking on the Load Excel button.

Settings
In order to locate the add-ins that are shipped with Microsoft Excel you must configure which main folders Excel Loader should look into. This include also any personal add-ins stored in these main folders.

This is done in the following dialog:

ExcelLoader1

The default settings in the dialog refer to the English version and if you use an English version then click on the Save settings button and close the dialog. If you use another language version you need to change them before saving the settings. The settings are stored in the Windows registry.

Based on my experience with several language versions of Excel it seems that Solver and XLStart are valid main folders for most language versions of Excel. If I’m wrong please let me know.

The installation package is available here for download (my English homepage):
Excel Loader

Excel Loader was originally developed with classic VB (which is the available version for download) but has been ported to Delphi 2006 as I try hard to learn C#.

For those of You who have no interest of the Excel Loader but would like to explore the web help system can access the following URL:
Help System by RoboHelp Office

Speaking about controling add-ins, Charles Williams has developed a nice utility for handling add-ins in a network that may be of interest: Add-in Loader

Finally, if You have any questions about the utility or find a bug please send me an e-mail (the address can be located in the help system) about it or make a comment in this blog.

Kind regards,
Dennis

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6 thoughts on “Add-ins – Excel Loader – A standalone utility to start Excel and load selected add-ins

  1. Very interesting Dennis!

    I have a VBA addin, which I call “Addins manager”. I’ve tried to get it to be close to the VBA IDE addin manager, which I like much more than the Excel one. Many of the goals of this addin are like the ones Charles lists on his site – start up speed esp! It’s not quite a fully functioned as yours though Dennis!! And it’s really only for me at the mo, but…

    Anyway the reason why I say all this is because my thinking was that I have a number of “core” addins that I use all the time, and some which I use only for a short while or occasionally, and I wanted to be within easy access of these (get them all in one place), but not have to have them loaded all the time. Viz each time I start Excel I get the core addins loaded.

    I have installed the addin (which all worked fine btw), and played around a little. It seems to be that your design differs from mine in that it’s a case of the Excel app opens with the workbook and the addins, but that this is unique – next time I open that workbook it will be a standard opening. Is this correct? – I guess that this is the functionality requires by more “serious” developers, where as mine which aimed more at standard users. Also, it opens the addins, and does not install then right? – that’s what I have done too.

    Also, just for out of curiosity, why Delphi 2006, and not vs2005 for the C#?

    Thanks again Dennis for sharing your excellent work!

    Cheers
    Ross

    PS.
    If anyone is looking for a “Front” loader of an excel app, I have been/am continuing to work on one which is here:
    http://www.blog.methodsinexcel.co.uk/2006/05/02/excel-front-loader-v2/

  2. Ross,

    Thanks for Your kind comments :)

    “in that it’s a case of the Excel app opens with the workbook and the addins, but that this is unique – next time I open that workbook it will be a standard opening. Is this correct?”

    Yes, and Your conclusion about developers vs end users are to some extend correct. End users can also use it, expecially when having troubles with one or more add-ins.

    “Also, just for out of curiosity, why Delphi 2006, and not vs2005 for the C#?”

    Because I like diversity and a very good friend to me works as a Delphi-developer and is living next door to me ;)

    Kind regards,
    Dennis

  3. I would like to use functions from MOREFUNC.XLL in Excel VBA macros. Unfortunately, even with Morefunc loaded in my PC and /or embeded in a workbook, there seems to be no way to call the functions from the vba macro – even a recorded macro! Could you help me figure out how to use these functions from VBA? They work fine when used in a spreadsheet.

    Thank you.

  4. Michael,

    Depending on what you need, you can use the Evaluate method, like:

    ?Application.Evaluate(“MCONCAT(A2:A14,””,””)”)
    1,31,33,35,37,44,48,58,59,76,77,79,90

  5. Juan.

    Thank you for the above response. It works for me. Too bad we cannot somehow make a reference to the embedded add-in.

    Michael

  6. thank for all

    it is nice to read your posts here

    i want to find any way (add-ins )for example to correct the text to speech in excell that thier is the tool bar of text to speech but it is not active ;i spent all of my efforts to activate it but it failed

    i hope i can find who can help me here to solve this problem

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