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Office Ribbon customization

Making my second attempt now to customize the office ribbon using the tutorial at  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa338202.aspx#OfficeCustomizingRibbonUIforDevelopers_Customizing. We’re still thinking about the implications to Excel Add Ins that need to work across Excel 2003 and 2007.

Categories: MS Office Development
  1. Joe
    August 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Dave,

    For 2003 compatibility, you can still use the old CommandBar object, which in 2007, will automatically place all CommandBar objects into a a single new Ribbon Tab called “Add-Ins”. The name is less than ordinary, but the user experience is no worse than native 2003. We had to grapple with this issue at ITT. Until all users are on 2007, we needed to stay at the “half-way house”. Looking forward to next year when all users will have 2007 and then we can finally migrate to the Fluent UI.

    BTW, cool blog!


    • developyourday
      August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks for the reply Joe!

      I had noticed that the 2003 buttons still came up in the Add-Ins tab. The only annoying aspect is that all my Fluent UI customization code, with bundled .xml file in the .xlam archive, to define my customizations, is 2007 only. I’m assuming that every time I make an update I’ll have to export to 2003 format as well so there’s always 2 versions of the same Add-In in use depending on client’s Office version.

      If there was an effective way to customize the Ribbon in VBA code only, then I could have everything live in a 2003 Excel Add-In which would behave differently depending on the version of Excel that it detects is installed.


  2. Joe
    August 20, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Enter .NET… by writing a Managed-Code COM add-in, you can do exactly what you want via code. Unfortunately, VBA was left by the way-side when Fluent UI came along. I don’t think that it is a limitation of VBA’s capabilities as much as it is a way of getting serious Office developers to start moving away from it and to start using VSTO.

  3. August 26, 2009 at 8:52 am

    thanks for the info

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