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Show Argument List for a Custom Function

Posted on 2014-01-11
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Last Modified: 2014-02-14
Hi experts.

Is there a way I can do this? I know how to show a list of IntelliSense options using Enum statements, but I'd like to add a list of argument options to other users of my custom function who use it for their Excel formulas.

Thanks,
Pablo.
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Question by:JohnPablo
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Expert Comment

by:MacroShadow
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I gather that you want all users to be able to use IntelliSense for your custom UDF. If they have access to the function they will have access to IntelliSense too. Just make sure to put your public function and enum in a template that loads when they start Excel. The \XLStart folder is recommended. (to find the correct \XLStart folder, run MsgBox Application.StartupPath).
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Expert Comment

by:Zack Barresse
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Hi there Pablo,

Are you talking about a UDF written for use in the IDE, or a worksheet function? As MacroShadow says, so long as they have access to the UDF (i.e. it's in their workbook) they will get the syntax information. It of course depends on how you're deploying this though. If this is an add-in they'll need to have the UDF transferred into the workbook itself, which can be done, although it can get a little tricky.

If you're making a COM add-in it's a different situation. While you can make the COM UDF's visible through traditional means, it's difficult. It'd be easier to use something like Excel DNA (free) or Add-In Express (paid).

In any case, a clearer definition of what you want would help.

Regards,
Zack Barresse
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Author Comment

by:JohnPablo
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Hi Zack, MacroShadow.

I normally write UDFs for personal use, or to be used along with some other code. In this case, I need to write several UDFs that will be used by other people, and they need to be as straightforward as possible. I'm writing the UDFs i a workbook module, so anyone can see them and use them, but you can't see the argument list, let alone the possible options for each argument.

I just want to know if I'm missing something, or this is just not available for custom functions.

Thanks for your help,
Pablo.
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Expert Comment

by:Zack Barresse
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The UDF would need to reside in the file it's being called from to see the syntax. So you'd have to copy it to the destination workbook. Is that what you mean?

Zack
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Author Comment

by:JohnPablo
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The UDF resides in the same file. The problem is, whenever I try inserting the UDF as a formula, I'm not getting any info on its arguments.
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Expert Comment

by:MacroShadow
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Oh, so your looking for a tooltip not for IntelliSense. I'm afraid that is quite impossible.
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Expert Comment

by:Zack Barresse
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Not impossible, just difficult. You just can't do it with VBA. You'd need to write this as a managed add-in, using C#/VB, etc. Generally when writing your own UDF's in VBA, training is the best option.

Zack
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Expert Comment

by:MacroShadow
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Actually I believe it can be done in VBA using api, but I don't have the time to prove it.
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Expert Comment

by:Zack Barresse
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AFAIK that is impossible and I've never seen it done. But if you do get time, I'd certainly love for you to prove me wrong. That'd be pretty cool. ;)

Zack
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Author Comment

by:JohnPablo
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I'm sorry for leaving this question.

I found a more creative way to allow the users to deal with the arguments that my UDF requires. I offered a set of aliases for each possible value and it seems to be working. nonetheless, I'd like to know if there is a simple solution to my original question.

Thanks,
Pablo.
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Expert Comment

by:MacroShadow
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Simple? No! Possible? Maybe.
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Accepted Solution

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Zack Barresse earned 500 total points
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If you're talking about calling a UDF as a worksheet function, there is a workaround, a couple actually, one of which Jan Karel Pieterse has on his website:

http://www.jkp-ads.com/articles/RegisterUDF00.asp

It uses the MacroOptions method which I forgot about (and I believe also details out an API and XLM method, but I'd not recommend using the latter, I never had much luck in keeping it stable for others to use).

Zack
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Author Closing Comment

by:JohnPablo
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Zack's reply isn't a simple solution, but it does the job when there's no other option. Thanks!
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