Most developers can think of dozens of ways in which they'd like to modify Visual Basic's integrated development environment (or IDE) in order to work more productively. These enhancements can range from simple items (like determining the version of Visual Basic for Applications used by the IDE, or clearing the Immediate window) to much more involved ones (like developing a utility that allows the tab order of the individual controls on a form to be set easily).Just as the major Microsoft Office applications expose their functionality through their object models, Visual Basic's development environment also exposes its functionality through the Visual Basic Extensibility Model. Unfortunately, though, the model is poorly documented and poorly understood. And most programmers simply don't have the time to sift through the documentation and experiment using trial and error to extend the IDE.Developing Visual Basic Add-ins addresses this lack of adequate documentation by showing how to develop add-ins for Visual Basic Versions 5.0 and 6.0 and by providing numerous coding examples of simple but useful add-ins.The book is divided into two parts. The first part, Add-in Basics, discusses the mechanics of add-in creation. This includes such topics as:
Retrieving a reference to the VB IDE
Registering an add-in
Activating an add-in
Making an add-in's functionality accessible through a menu option or toolbar button
Developing an add-in requires creativity, since it requires a programmer to both identify a shortcoming of the IDE and implement some means of enhancing it. The second part of the book, The Extensibility Model, prepares you for this creative part of add-in development by focusing on the VB IDE Extensibility Model. Individual chapters provide in-depth coverage of specific categories of objects, such as user interface objects, project-related objects, and form and control objects.With Developing Visual Basic Add-ins, you can finally make all of the enhancements to the VB IDE that will allow you to program more effectively.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The bird on the cover of Developing Visual Basic Add-ins is a jacana, a tropical wading bird. There are eight species of jacana, in six genera. The jacana's most remarkable physical characteristic is its long toes. In fact, the jacana has the longest toes (relatively speaking) of any living bird. When in flight, the toes extend beyond the tip of the bird's tail. These long, wide-spread toes enable the jacana to walk across the floating leaves of water plants, hence the names lotus bird and lily trotter, by which some species of jacana are known. As useful as they are when walking on watery surfaces, the jacana's toes make walking on land very difficult, and for this reason you rarely see a jacana walking on solid ground. For that matter, most of you will rarely see a jacana, as very few of them are found in captivity. They can be found in fresh-water ponds and swamps in tropical regions throughout the world. Jacanas feed mainly on insects, small mollusks, and small fish.Jacana females are frequently larger than the males and more aggressive. In most jacana species, the female mates with more than one male and lays more than one clutch of eggs per season. There are typically four glossy, "scribbled" eggs per clutch, laid in nests that float on the water. The male incubates the eggs and raises the young alone. Jacana chicks can swim and dive immediately after hatching. The father doesn't feed the young, as they are able to find and digest their own food, but he does protect and comfort them for the first few months of life. Mary Anne Weeks Mayo was the project manager and copyeditor for Developing Visual Basic Add-ins; Jane Ellin, Melanie Wang, Sarah Jane Shangraw, and Sheryl Avruch reviewed the book for quality control; Ruth Rautenberg wrote the index; and Kathleen Wilson created the back cover.Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book using a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. The cover layout was produced with QuarkXPress 3.32 using the ITC Garamond font. Whenever possible, our books use RepKover, a durable and flexible lay-flat binding. If the page count exceeds RepKover's limit, perfect binding is used.The inside layout was designed by Nancy Priest and implemented in FrameMaker by Mike Sierra. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book. The illustrations that appear in the book were created in Macromedia Freehand 8 and screen shots were created in Adobe Photoshop 5 by Robert Romano. This colophon was written by Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary.