Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007: VSTO for Excel, Word, and Outlook Paperback – Feb 24 2009
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Praise for Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007
“Visual Studio Tools for Office has always been one of my favorite technologies to come out of Microsoft. There are millions of people who use Office applications all day, every day; with VSTO, you can create applications for them. Eric Carter and Eric Lippert helped create VSTO, so they know as much about it as anybody, making this book a must-have. After reading it, you’ll know everything needed to begin building solutions that take advantage of the .NET Framework features, in the UI your users are familiar with.”
–Robert Green, senior consultant, MCW Technologies
“With the application development community so focused on the Smart Client revolution, a book that covers VSTO from A to Z is both important and necessary. This book lives up to big expectations. It is thorough, has tons of example code, and covers Office programming in general terms–topics that can be foreign to the seasoned .NET developer who has focused on ASP.NET applications for years. Congratulations to Eric Lippert and Eric Carter for such a valuable work!”
–Tim Huckaby, CEO, InterKnowlogy; Microsoft Regional Director
“Eric Carter and Eric Lippert really get it. Professional programmers will love the rich power of Visual Studio and .NET, along with the ability to tap into Office programmability. This book walks you through programming Excel, Word, and Outlook solutions.”
–Vernon W. Hui, test lead, Microsoft Corporation
“This book is both a learning tool and a reference book, with a richness of tables containing object model objects and their properties, methods, and events. I would recommend it to anyone considering doing Office development using the .NET Framework; especially people interested in VSTO programming.”
–Rufus Littlefield, software design engineer/tester, Microsoft Corporation
“This book will help Office .NET Developers optimize their work. It goes beyond providing an introduction to VSTO and the object models of Word, Excel, and Outlook. The overview of other technologies available for interacting with Office assist in analyzing how to best approach any Office project. In addition, the authors’ insights into the design of this RAD tool make it possible to get the most out of VSTO applications.”
–Cindy Meister, Microsoft MVP for VSTO, author of Word Programmierung, Das Handbuch
“This book is an in-depth, expert, and definitive guide to programming using Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007. It is a must-have book for anyone doing Office development.”
–Siew Moi Khor, programmer/writer, Microsoft Corporation
“We don’t buy technical books for light reading, we buy them as a resource for developing a solution. This book is an excellent resource for someone getting started with Smart Client development. For example, it is common to hear a comment along the lines of, ‘It is easy to manipulate the Task Pane in Office 2007 using VSTO 2008,’ but until you see something like the example at the start of Chapter 14, it is hard to put ‘easy’ into perspective.
“This is a thorough book that covers everything from calling Office applications from your application, to building applications that are Smart Documents. It allows the traditional Windows developer to really leverage the power of Office 2007.”
–Bill Sheldon, principal engineer, InterKnowlogy; MVP
“Eric Carter and Eric Lippert have been the driving force behind Office development and Visual Studio Tools for Office. The depth of their knowledge and understanding of VSTO and Office is evident in this book. Professional developers architecting enterprise solutions using VSTO 2008 and Office system 2007 now have a new weapon in their technical arsenal.”
–Paul Stubbs, program manager, Microsoft Corporation
“This book, also known as ‘The Bible of VSTO,’ has been rewritten for Office 2007 and I was delighted to read the sections on new VSTO features that were added in Visual Studio 2008. It explains how the VSTO team hid the plumbing and cumbersome coding tasks to allow you to be more productive and to just create excellent business applications. New or experienced in Office development, you will want to add this book to your library!”
–Maarten van Stam, Microsoft MVP, Visual Developer, VSTO, http://blogs.officezealot.com/maarten
“This book covers all of the ins and outs of programming with Visual Studio Tools for Office in a clear and concise way. Given the authors’ exhaustive experiences with this subject, you can’t get a more authoritative description of VSTO than this book!”
–Paul Vick, principal architect, Microsoft Corporation
From the Back Cover
Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007: VSTO for Excel, Word, and Outlookis the definitive book on VSTO 2008 programming, written by the inventors of the technology. VSTO is a set of tools that allows professional developers to use the full power of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework to program against Microsoft Office 2007.
This book delivers in one place all the information you need to succeed using VSTO to program against Word 2007, Excel 2007, and Outlook 2007, and provides the necessary background to customize Visio 2007, Publisher 2007, and PowerPoint 2007. It introduces the Office 2007 object models, covers the most commonly used objects in those object models, and will help you avoid the pitfalls caused by the COM origins of the Office object models. Developers who wish to program against Office 2003 should consult Carter and Lippert's previous book,Visual Studio Tools for Office.
In VSTO 2008, you can build add-ins for all the major Office 2007 applications, build application-level custom task panes, customize the new Office Ribbon, modify Outlook's user interface using Form Regions, and easily deploy everything you build using ClickOnce.
Carter and Lippert cover their subject matter with deft insight into the needs of .NET developers learning VSTO, based on the deep knowledge that comes from the authors' unique perspective of living and breathing VSTO for the past six years. This book
- Explains the architecture of Microsoft Office programming and introduces the object modelsSee all Product DescriptionCovers the main ways Office applications are customized and extendedExplores the ways of customizing Excel, Word, and Outlook, and plumbs the depths of programming with their events and
object modelsIntroduces the VSTO programming modelTeaches how to use Windows Forms and WPF in VSTO and how to work with the Document Actions Pane and application-level task panesDelves into VSTO data programming and server data scenariosTeaches ClickOnce VSTO deployment
This is the one book you need to succeed in programming against Office 2007.
C# and Visual Basic .NET Code samples for download can be found here: http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321533216
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I am glad this book was written using C# as a programming language. In the past VBA left a lot to be desired, enough so that I never took Office programming serious at all. When 2003 came out it sparked my interest, but I ran into enough pain right out of the box to drop it fast. This book has renewed my hope that I can start taking Office application seriously. By using C# the authors reaffirmed this is not VBA anymore. Had I browsed this book and found it to be written in VB.NET I would not have given Office 2007 VSTO another shot, because I would have thought the toolset was still lost in the VBA world.
For VB'ers... the authors do point out the differences in VB and C# where appropriate, they just do not provide code samples of each.
There are still a lot of traces of the crazy COM programming interfaces in the interops, but this book does a great job of pointing them out and shows you how to work with them. The "missing" and "ref missing" make the most elegant code look psychotic. It will be nice to have the C# 4.0 named and optional arguments feature to remedy the "missing" and "ref missing" messes.
The one complaint I have is about the code library that goes along with the book. There isn't one. The only thing made available is word documents that have the code listings from the Chapters cut and pasted from the book's manuscript.
All in all I do not think anyone developing VSTO should be without this book, and those that aren't developing VSTO should buy the book to educate themselves about the value the technology now provides.
I have to say, I think the transition is much harder than i expected. Why? Well looking at the examples I've found on the web / other VSTO books everything is either ambiguous or hard to see the woods for the trees. This is something I believe that this book rectifies.
It's simply the best VSTO book I've seen, and its with C# - double bonus for me! Most books in this area are VB. Some of these other books I've looked at were with utter disbelief! This book is sitting in the top drawer and has about 95% of what you'll need.
It doesn't cover the Excel VBA model in great detail. I beleieve this to actually be a good thing. Covering this would 1. double the size of the book. 2. Take the focus away from what its trying to achieve - actually using VSTO. (BTW, the actual model content that is included is, what I believe, the correct content to get you started to a decent developers level. You're not going to be able to code hardcore spreadsheets, but its a step in the right direction.)
It covers more than Excel (word and outlook are included), so i really skipped those sections more or less. Something that's easily done with this book due to its layout.
The only bad thing I would say about this book is that it points out how remarkably good VSTO actually is!! The 'hard' parts of Excel VBA development (I'm talking smart tags, ribbon modifications and the likes) are made rediculously easy. After being exposed to the power of office development with .NET, going back to a VBA environment would bring tears to a glass eye! :)
Out of desperation I bought this book hoping to find out how to do this in C#. The excel events chapter was hard to read. Clearly showing how to implement Excel events should have been the first thing the authors should have done in this chapter. I did not find the answer in this book.
I spent the whole day searching the internet and finally stumbled on to the answer.
Programmers will need to add the line below the comment
//Add this line to create BeforeDoubleClick event
#region VSTO Designer generated code
/// Required method for Designer support - do not modify
/// the contents of this method with the code editor.
private void InternalStartup()
this.Startup += new System.EventHandler(Sheet1_Startup);
this.Shutdown += new System.EventHandler(Sheet1_Shutdown);
//Add this line to create BeforeDoubleClick event
this.BeforeDoubleClick += new Excel.DocEvents_BeforeDoubleClickEventHandler(
Make sure you also add the following procedure.
void Sheet1_BeforeDoubleClick(Excel.Range Target,
ref bool Cancel)
MessageBox.Show("Double-clicking in this sheet" +
" is not allowed.");
Cancel = true;
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