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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    progamming language (progamming language)

    I'm just curious about something and thought this looked like a good place to ask ...... what progamming language or method do people use who want to write an addon or plugin to MS Word, for example? or Photoshop? Is it this Visual Basic ... whatever?

    For example, I would like to have an interactive plugin for Word that would automatically place diverse data and information in different locations of the working document, and with different formating styles. I'm curious how one would accomplish something like that, if they wanted to learn how to do it themselves.

    thanks,
    larry

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: progamming language (progamming language)

    There are two kinds of add-ins for Microsoft Office applications:

    1. The kind you create in the application itself
    - A Word add-in or global template (.dot)
    - An Excel add-in (.xla)
    - A PowerPoint add-in (.ppa)
    - An Access add-in (.mda)
    Such add-ins only work in the application they were made in/for. You don't need to get additional software - if you have Word, you can create a .dot add-in, etc.

    2. COM add-ins created in a language such as VB6, VB.net, C++, C#, or Delphi.
    Such add-ins can be designed to work in more than one application, and can be faster and more powerful than the add-ins mentioned above. But you need to buy a separate programming development tool.

  3. #3
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    Re: progamming language (progamming language)

    Thank you for the reply. I have now done a little crash-course research on the options you mentioned, and would like your own opinion as well.

    Although I know my way around the computer quite well, using complex software, etc.; I have no experience in programming. Knowing that, which language would you suggest I take on first to accomplish my goal? Which language is actually best suited for my goal? (Goal==Writing plugins for Word, similar to as described in original post.)

    thanks,
    larry

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: progamming language (progamming language)

    Writing a COM add-in is far from trivial, you need to be an experienced programmer. So I would use VBA in Word if I were you.
    Start by learning how to create macros in Word.
    <UL><LI>Use Tools | Macro | Record New Macro... to record some actions, then view the generated code in the Visual Basic Editor. Click in almost any word and press F1 to get help.
    <LI>Read an introductory book such as Microsoft Word 2000 Step by Step. You'll probably want to move on to more advanced books later on.
    <LI>Visit the Word MVP site for lots of code samples.
    <LI>Browse the Word and VB/VBA forums here on Woody's Lounge[/list]You can always ask questions here.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: progamming language (progamming language)

    Although you used the terms "addon" and "plugin" in your original post, I'm wondering if a Word macro is really all you're looking for. You can automate virtually all aspects of document creation and manipulation in Word using its macro language (Visual Basic for Applications), including creating custom dialog boxes for the user to fill in.

    I believe that's where Hans was going with his last post. He said "start by learning how to create macros in Word", but I'm guessing macros may be all you need. To create a "COM Add-In" I believe you need to own Visual Studio or a developer version of Microsoft Office.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: progamming language (progamming language)

    I agree - hou5ton may well discover that VBA code and userforms will do everything needed. But even if not, it'll be necessary to have a good grounding in Word VBA.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: progamming language (progamming language)

    To address one other point, if you are interested in developing a Photoshop plug-in, you should obtain Adobe's Software Develper's Kit (not free!) and other documentation. I can't remember any threads here on Photoshop plug-in development, and I suspect there are dedicated forums that could help more in that area. This site might be a good place to check: The Plugin Site - Adobe Photoshop plugins and plug-ins, filters and effects for Paint Shop Pro, Corel Photo-Paint, Adobe Premiere.

  8. #8
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    Re: progamming language (progamming language)

    there's 3rd kind, DLLs, which can be written using, say VB 6.
    DLLs d onot impose the oberhead of COM add-ons and can be used for supplying libraries to be used in Office apps.

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