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Pointers to creating new Excel Windows Task Panes via VBA automation

Posted on 2013-05-30
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I am considering using customised task panes in place of UserForms, in an Excel project.

I've heard that windows task panes can be customised from scratch and can provide comparable dynamic properties to vba userForms, and that so?

I have several dynamic userForms, which are best used modeless. Within the workbook, some are used, individually, in conjunction with more than one worksheet

REASONS for me considering Task Panes - or are they non-reasons??? ========>

-- It would be helpful to enable the modeless dynamic forms could be 'docked' to the main excel window, so the User does not 'lose' them, behind the main window.

-- I'm under the impression that task panes give a more 'professional' appearance to a project.

-- I have other Userforms to create, so a migration to task panes (if a good idea) would be timely.

-- I've read somewhere that it is possible to convert UserForm code to Task Pane code. In practice is this a genuine benefit?        ===================================|

Can you give me pointers to set me gathering materials?
What are the main issues for me at this 'thinking' stage?

Thanks
Kelvin
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Question by:Kelvin4
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Expert Comment

by:andrewssd3
ID: 39210025
I don't believe that task panes can be created using VBA.  To create them you need to use Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) with a 'proper' programming language like C# or Visual Basic .NET. There is lots of info around about doing this, including http://blogs.msdn.com/b/gabhan_berry/archive/2008/08/13/custom-task-panes.aspx
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Author Comment

by:Kelvin4
ID: 39210064
andrew-- Thanks for the point about VBA, which I has seen claimed to be useful.  

The blog:    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/gabhan_berry/archive/2008/08/13/custom-task-panes.aspx claims VSTO is not required.  

However, if I were to use VSTO, am I right in thinking that I'd be able to maintain most of my project in VBA, and just use VB.Net for the task panes?

Kelvin
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Accepted Solution

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andrewssd3 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39210078
Yes, that blog shows how to create them natively, but you still need a non-VBA environment to create the panes.  You could create the task pane outside VBA in a COM-visible add-in then call that from VBA.  I have not tried this but I imagine with some tweaking you could get it working.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Kelvin4
ID: 39210552
andrew.. thank you for a quick and clear answer. This need not be at the top of my list!
Kelvin
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Expert Comment

by:TuanKTCDCN
ID: 41799226
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