Introduction

There are millions of Microsoft Office developers in the world. Most people who create Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) solutions do not think of themselves as Office developers, but they are. In fact, if you use VBA to customize Office documents, you're using one of the most popular development platforms out there.

You may have started your development career by recording macros in Word or Excel to automate a repetitive task. You then quickly moved on to adjusting your macros to get them to work exactly the way you needed them to. You may have experienced the excitement of being the office hero by getting an important document created for the boss on time. If you're like many people, you've dug further into VBA coding. You are now creating your VBA projects from scratch, and the number of lines of code has exploded. You may have even reached a point where you've discovered some limitations of VBA that prevent you from creating your solution exactly the way you want it.

You may have heard that Microsoft is not actively adding new features to the VBA language. That is not to say that Microsoft will stop supporting VBA. It does mean, however, that advances in new features will not be added—for example, Web services, XML, and other features such as code snippets. If you use Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office (VSTO) and Visual Basic, though, you can take advantage of these new features.

You may have already started your transition to using VSTO for Office development and want to learn more. Maybe you are just now starting to kick the tires to try out VSTO and see what kinds of enhancements you can make to your solutions using managed code.

In short, no matter how far along you are in making the transition to a new level of productivity with VSTO and Visual Basic 2005, this book will help you get there.

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