Addin Registry

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  • I need some comfirmation on this
    Since my addin is expanded with multiple .XLT and logfiles
    Is it also not a better idea to registrate the addin with installation from a VISTO.exe directly into
    ::HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Excel\Add-in Manager

    because then I could have one location with al the files
    Instead off the microsoft addins folder
    Y work in combination with VISTO (already mentioned that)

    Now I am kopying every file to the addins folder and the .XLT folder
    I rather use statements like thisworkbook.path in Exel for adding my logfiles, otherwise they also appear in the Tools-addin list or I have to think off a folder to put them in. Everything gets sort off spread around then and thats not nice. I would like to keep everything in the installationfolder.

    in summary: Registrate directly into the addin manager key
    will work just as good as kopying it to the default addinmap

    Am I right??

    TIA, Richard

  • Re: Addin Registry


    If I understand it correctly You want to avoid a situation where some of Your XLAs are viewable via Excel's UI, i e in the add-in dialogform.

    One easy and simple approach is to use another file extension then ".xla" and then You can load them via the main XLA.

    In general it's a good strategy to keep all related files in one folder.


    Is it also not a better idea to registrate the addin with installation from a VISTO.exe directly into

    If You refer to the main XLA then I agree. I'm not sure what "VISTO.exe" refer to but I assume it's an installation tool that can write to the Windows registry to install and activate the main XLA.

  • Re: Addin Registry

    thanks, Dennis
    It is visual studio pro (creating an.exe file) that I use to distribute the files.


    If I understand it correctly You want to avoid a situation where some of Your XLAs are viewable via Excel's UI, i e in the add-in dialogform.

    The main thing is, if I create more files for the application, whatever they might be in the future, I can keep them together in one location.

    Aren't there any disadvantages in doing that(program the registry's addin manager), just to be shore?

    What do you mean with changing the extension?
    I'am not familiar with that


  • Re: Addin Registry

    Regarding changing the extension:

    John Walkenback's Power Utility Pak uses .pup extensions on his files. The main add-in then loads these when a given utility is being used.

    As usual, Dennis has great input for these type of things.


  • Re: Addin Registry

    Is the main addin located (where)? and where are the other files?

    Or is it like setting a reference in the add-in manager to the folder that contains the main addin and then change the file extensions to make them invisible for the tools-addin dialog in XL.

    How is the file again beiing recognized as an XLtemplate or whatever?

    About the add-in manager in the registry
    If I manually add a value to it, I can't see anything in XL
    With or without a ValueValue for Value

    The Value for ValueValue must be the path to the folder that contains the addin with Quotations surrounded, am I right?

  • Re: Addin Registry

    Hi Richard.

    TJ - Good to see You around ;)

    Let see if we can solve it in a smooth way :)

    Primo - Where to store the main XLA file?
    If we want to store it in a customized folder and at the same get it activated in Excel then it require that the installation tool in use can:

    Read the Windows Registry entries and pick up the next available number in the subkeys that hold the activated XLAs in Windows Registry. These subkeys have the name of "OPEN" and a number included like "OPEN9".

    This subkeys can be located at the following path in the Windows Registry:

    The present package tool included in Visual Studio 2005 does not provide any help with it.

    I know that Jan Karel (Pietersen) has a guide about creating a setup utility in Excel:

    In addition, the only installation tools I'm aware that can solve it a smooth way is Wise, InstallShield and Visual Installer (a Swedish installation tool in which I've been involved to develop the XLAs installation solution). However, I'm probably not fully updated so perhaps there exist additional tools that solve it nicely.

    An interesting installation tool is WiX that use XML files but it's beyond the scope of this post to discuss it further.

    Anyway, my recommendation is simple to place the main XLA in the same folder as the underlying XLAs and XLT. Instruct the users on how to activate it via Excel's UI.

    Secundo - How to handle the underlying XLAs?
    First of all, in order to 'hide' them from users You should change the file extension from 'xla' to something else.

    Here I use the file extension 'xldennis' and the full name of the XLA is: Tool1.xldennis

    Second, add-ins can be loaded in two ways, either via the open command or by activating them via Excel's UI.

    Since we have changed the file extension we need to open them with the open statement as the following snippet code shows:

    Const Too1 As String = "c:\My Tools\Tool1.xldennis"
    Application.Workbooks.Open (Tool1)

    I hope that the above give You a solution that can be used to get things work properly.

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