Current Version: Version 1.0
Compatibility: PC Only | MS Office 2007 and later | Works on 32-bit or 64-bit
Programs: Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word
Help Page: My First Add-in Help Page
VBA Distribution Problems?
Tens of thousands of people around the world use VBA everyday to automate tasks in their Microsoft Office Applications. While these VBA macros can be extremely powerful for the users who know how to execute them, what most VBA users seem to struggle with is how to distribute their macros to their co-workers, managers, or the general public.
So what goes into a well distributed add-in application? Well, there's the VBA code (which most people seem to understand) but there is also graphic design work and Ribbon user-interface (UI) coding that when thrown into the mix, makes your application easy to use and understand. This is where the pain-point exists for most of us self-taught VBA coders out there.
After years of creating VBA add-ins used by analysts and companies around the world, I decided something needed to be done to make life easier for the masses. Most people who use VBA aren't computer programmers. In fact, I myself am a financial analyst by trade and didn't study a lick of computer programming in school.
So how could I make it easy for all of us users who are self-taught and don't have time searching the internet for all the pieces to the puzzle? The solution I came up with was to create a dynamic VBA add-in template that you can literally paste in your VBA macros and manage the Ribbon UI and icons directly within the comforts of VBA.
Let me introduce you to my custom package of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word VBA add-in templates simply called.....My First Add-in!
How The Template Works
When you first open up a My First Add-in file, you will see a new "My Add-in" tab in your Ribbon user interface. Within this ribbon tab will be all the available buttons you can include in your final add-in. There are six separate button groups so you can section off your macros.
Each of the six groups include:
- 10 Normal Buttons
- 3 Drop Down Menus with 12 additional buttons within the drop down
- 3 Split Menu Buttons with 12 additional buttons within the drop down
- 1 Launcher button
All-in-all you will have over 150 various types of clickable buttons to run macros within your add-in.
Using VBA To Manipulate The Ribbon UI
I've made My First Add-in EXTREMELY EASY to determine how your add-in's Ribbon UI appears and functions. Within each file there is a VBA module called RibbonSetup. This module holds 7 macros that allow you to:
- Turn a button's visibility on/off
- Determine what a button's text label says
- Determine which Microsoft Icon appears for a button (hundreds of icons to choose from)
- Determine if the size of the button is Normal or Large
- Designate which VBA macro gets called when a button is clicked
- Decide what the Screentip says when your mouse hovers over a button (think title for button description)
- Decide what the Supertip says when your mouse hovers over a button (think button description)
Here's a quick video showing you how easy it is to modify the 7 VBA macros to customize your add-ins Ribbon UI.
Thousands Of Professional Icons
A difficulty most of us face is we aren't graphic designers. With how the My First Add-in template is set up, you will have access to all of Microsoft's icons used across the Office applications. This means you can simply browse the icons and pick which ones fit your needs, never worrying about colors, pixels, schematics, or anything else that goes into creating professionally-designed icons. You simply add the name of the icon into your VBA code and (Poof!) it appears on your Ribbon tab!!
Access To Microsoft's Icons
The My First Add-in templates give you easy access to all of the icons included in the Office Applications, so your add-ins will look professional and blend right into Excel, PowerPoint, or Word!
Look At What You Can Create!
Here are a couple examples of what your Ribbon Add-in can look like:
The My First Add-in template is contained within an Excel/PowerPoint/Word file that holds a pre-coded VBA module. This VBA module allows you to completely customize the Ribbon UI for your add-in. I have gone ahead and spent hours writing all the tricky XML ribbon coding for you, so you get to stay within the comforts of working solely in the Visual Basic Editor.
Each Excel, PowerPoint, and Word template can be purchased for $35 USD. However, to simplify the logistics on my end, I have decided to create packages with all three templates (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), which ultimately passes on savings to you if you want to venture into creating add-ins for more than one Office application.
Below are the currently available package options.
Pioneer Pack [$35]
You want to differentiate yourself from your peers. You have a bunch of VBA code that helps you do your work faster and more accurate. If only you knew a way to easily share all your capabilities with your co-workers. This pack of 1 add-in template per Office program will allow you to create the add-in of your dreams and impress everyone in the office. You are entering uncharted territory and you are ready to take a leap of faith and make your vision a reality.
Hero Pack [$75]
You don't just want to impress a few co-workers with your macro magic, you want to make an impact. You see needs throughout your company and you want to have the ability to create add-ins not only know but in the future when you run into situation that could really use some automation. The Hero Pack gives you the ability to run up to 3 individual add-ins (per application) at the same time. This means you can make a suite of Excel add-ins that carry out various task or that are tailored for different areas of your business.
Developer Pack [$127]
This is for the person who doesn't just want to stay within the confines of a "Package". You are an individual who would rather learn how to fish than keep going back to the fish market. You're going to get 3 add-in templates for Excel/PowerPoint/Word to get you started, but you will also gain access to training videos that will show you how you can make an unlimited number of add-in templates. This will allow you to have no limitations on how many add-ins you can create and also will get you pointed in the right direction to add more functionalities to the templates.
The Online Self-Paced Mini-Course will cover:
Each video lesson ranges between 5-15 minutes each depending on the topic and also includes textual notes and links to additional resources. There are also Comment Sections for each lessons where you can post questions and interact with other students. What you will learn from this mini-course includes:
- What software you will need to download (don't worry, I show you all the freebies available to you)
- Basic concepts of XML coding (it's really not that complicated to pick up on!)
- How to use the templates to create as many unique add-ins as you want
- How to design and use your own custom icons in your add-in
- Resources that will allow you to expand the capabilities of the My First Add-in template
A Few Other Notes About The Course
- Lessons are taught through a video format using the brand new SpreadsheetGuruCourses website
- This course is only available through purchasing the My First Add-in Developer Pack
- You get life-time access to the course material and any future updates to the course content
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there no trial version?
Since the template is completely unlocked there isn't really a way for me to offer a trial version for My First Add-in. This template is based off a popular article I wrote a few years back and if you are concerned of having buyers remorse you can check out the article and learn how you can download a similar template with fewer features. If you're already a newsletter subscriber, you can download the articles template with your access to the downloads section.
Can I upload my own icons into the Ribbon UI?
Using your own custom icons requires a few manual steps that could not be carried out by VBA alone. With My First Add-in you will only be allowed to use Microsoft's library of icons (in which there are hundreds to choose from). However, if you purchase the Developer Pack, I do show you how to create and load your own icons into your add-in's Ribbon.
Can I reorder/add to the different types of buttons with VBA code?
While there are hundreds of buttons in this template, it is not possible to reorder them without modifying the XML code. This means you cannot move the button locations or add new buttons to the template by simply modifying the VBA code. I could not code for every possible layout in the template, so the button layout shown below is how all the buttons will stay positioned (note you can hide buttons and change their size any way you want). If you want/need the flexibility to reorder the various types of buttons or add more, I strongly suggest purchasing the Developer Pack where you can learn through the online course how to modify the XML code.
Why Can't I Simply Just Buy the Pioneer Pack and make 3 copies?
Each add-in has to use unique IDs within it's XML code. So simply copying an add-in will maintain those same unique Ribbon IDs. The Hero Pack contains 3 My First Add-in templates that have their own individual IDs, allowing you to run them all at the same time within your Office Application. With the Developer Pack I show you how to create new IDs so you don't risk sharing IDs with another person's add-in and can essentially create as many add-ins as you want.
I bought the Pioneer Pack but now want to upgrade to the Developer Pack. Can I do this?
You are more than welcome to upgrade to a different Pack. Just shoot me an email with your order number and the Pack you wish to upgrade to and I will provide you instructions on how to upgrade (you will just be required to pay the incremental difference between the two Packs).
Can I Distribute My Add-in Creations?
You most certainly can! However, if you are planning to do a large distribution or even sell your creation, I would recommend purchasing the Developer Pack so you can ensure your add-in creations have truly unique IDs and don't have trouble running alongside other add-ins your users might have installed. WHAT YOU MAY NOT DO is resell the template itself. That is my only restriction.
How Do I Protect My VBA Code When I Distribute It?
You can use the built-in VBA Project password protection but I DO NOT recommend this as it can be easily bypassed. I use a software called Unviewable+ to protect all my VBA add-ins. I go into a little more detail on this program at the bottom of this page and in the online course provided within the Developer Pack.
What happens if there is a bug found or updated versions?
Like with all my products, if there are any bug fixes or new features added to My First Add-in, you will receive an email with a direct download link to obtain the latest version. Bottom line, Free updates for life!
Am I allowed to return this product?
Because there is no way for me to disable or physically take back the templates, I am NOT ALLOWING any refunds on this particular product unless you can show proof that the templates are not compatible with your system for some reason. If you are having technical issues I will do my best to work with you to get them resolved.
What Are You Waiting For?!
If you are anything like me, you've been dreaming of all the Add-ins you could make for Excel, PowerPoint, or Microsoft Word but you just didn't know how to get it built. Well now there is a very simple solution available to you with My First Add-in and there are no excuses. So pick up one of the three packs available and start building your very first add-in.
And trust me...you'll never forget your first!
Protect Your Add-ins Like A Pro
After you've nailed down creating your very own add-ins with the help of My First Add-in, you may want to start distributing your creation either for free or for monetary value. In order to ensure your VBA code is not stolen or tampered with, it is a great idea to protect it with an amazing application called Unviewable+. I have used Unviewable+ to protect all the Microsoft Add-in products I sell here on TheSpreadsheetGuru website. It is quick and easy to use and I don't know what I would do without it's capabilities. You can learn more about Unvieawable+ through my complete review of the product.