• Decrease font size
  • Reset font size to default
  • Increase font size



Wenn Ihr mich unterstützen möchtet, freue ich mich über eine Spende.
Das ist aber natürlich komplett freiwillig.
Internet Explorer addon development with Add-In-Express Pt.1
dev - c#
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Some time ago I had the chance to review a great productAdd-in-Express for Microsoft Office.net (the generation 2008 back then). After the review some smaller projects followed which affirmed my first impression that this was really a great tool for the development of office addons.

So you may imagine my excitement when I read the announcement for the generation 2009 of the Add-In-Expresss product line. This time I liked to try the Add-in-Express for Internet Explorer. So once again I asked the friendly people at Add-in Express for a test version of this product and to my delight they sent me a copy very shortly thereafter.

Time to fire up my IDE, get a nice cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee (aka the nectar of the gods) and get things done.

Well the first thing that actually needs to be done is to download and install the product. This is a pretty forward process. All you need to do is check the IDE in which you like to install Add-in Express, enter your activation code and that’s it.

Next time you go into the “Create new project” dialog of Visual Studio you have several additional options (the ones starting with ADX IE).


Let’s select the ADX IE Add-on. You are greeted with a very tidy wizard which guards you through your first but important decisions. First you have to select the programming language of your choice. You can automatically let the wizard generate the setup project for you.

The most important choice however seems to be whether you will use the “IE6 Compatible Interop Library” or not. This basically determines in which version your addon will be likely to run. A matrix of choices and consequences may be found on the Add-in Express website.

project_wizard_1 After the project is created you will notice the class IEModule in your project map. This is the most important class because it represents more or less your addon. If you double-click the class the visual editor for it opens and you will see its properties.

This is the moment where the fun really begins. You have a lot of options to create things. For now we will start with a very simple one. In the property editor you should click into the Command collection. You are now presented another editor where you can add several commands at your will.

command_collection These CommandItems may be displayed in certain menus and/or in the standard IE toolbar. If you choose the latter you should specify icons to be displayed.

Alright. Save your project, right-click on the project and click “Register ADX project”. For this step you need to run with administrative privileges because the registry will be changed.


Start up your Internet Explorer and feel great. Your first addon appears in the toolbar and the menu you have specified. Right now it doesn’t do anything but we will change this in a second or two.

inTheToolbar toolMenu








Go back to Visual Studio. What we want to do right now is to add an event handler to our CommandItem. This is the first time things went a little bit tricky for me. I desperately searched for the place to specify the event handler but couldn’t find it. So I coded it manually. Then I leaned back and thought that there must be a better way to do it.

And there really is. It just isn’t too intuitive (at least for me). Here’s what you have to do:

  • Click into the visual designer for the IEModule.
  • Move your mouse to the properties window and click on the dropdown at the top.
  • You will see a list of all used elements.
  • Select the one your are looking for.
  • Click on the button to toggle the properties and the events for this elements (this is the standard way to do it).
  • Double-click  into the OnClick entry and the work is done for you.
  • The corresponding method is generated which you just have to fill.

selectingCommandItem selectingEvent

Right now we will only fill a very simple statement which will greet us with a nice MessageBox when we click on our CommandItem.


Register the ADX project again and restart your IE. Now hit your command et voilà the MessageBox appears.


If you take a look into the addon administration in your IE you will also see your freshly created addon.


That’s it for today. I showed you how to install Add-in-Express, how to start a first simple project and what steps you had to take to integrate your first IE addon which actually did something. Next time I will show you how to use other features of Add-in-Express.

Kommentare (1)
Waiting for the next pts
1 Montag, den 17. August 2009 um 11:57 Uhr
Hi there,
nice article. Keep on writing in english. I am awaiting the next pt. of this series. So keep up the good work.

Kommentar hinzufügen

Ihr Name:
  Sicherheitscode zur Prüfung. Nur Kleinschreibung. Keine Leerzeichen.