VBA PowerTools Add New Features To Microsoft Office and Visio Applications

VBA PowerTools Add New Features To Microsoft Office and Visio Applications

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 2, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) PowerTools, customized add-ins that provide developers and end users with increased functionality for products that incorporate the Microsoft® Visual Basic for Applications development environment. VBA PowerTools enable users of VBA host applications immediate access to enhanced or customized product features. Developers can benefit by using the techniques and code from VBA PowerTools in their own solutions. Today, 12 VBA PowerTools for Microsoft Office 97 and Visio are available to download at http://www.microsoft.com/vba/vbapowertools.htm; additional tools for these and other VBA-enabled applications will be offered regularly.

“One-size applications don’t always fit everyone, and customers are always asking for specialized features to further extend the rich functionality available in desktop products,” said Neil Charney, lead marketing manager for Visual Basic for Applications at Microsoft. “VBA PowerTools exemplify the customization and integration possible with any product that hosts Visual Basic for Applications. The VBA PowerTools program provides access to new customized features for VBA-enabled applications.”

Any of the over 3 million VBA developers are able to extend and use of their existing knowledge of VBA with these tools and utilize the latest technology available today. Software applications that feature VBA can be easily customized to add meaningful functionality for particular developer or user needs. Users and developers can download existing VBA PowerTools from the Web to extend their applications immediately. Or developers can create their own VBA PowerTools, using Visual Basic for Applications in the host application. It’s easy to build VBA PowerTools: Most require fewer than 100 lines of code and can be developed in a matter of hours.

VBA PowerTools are excellent learning tools for developers writing VBA applications. All of the source code is unlocked and available to developers so they can see how the code works. Many of the tools were developed by third parties that specialize in training and consulting and are among the most talented companies and individuals in the industry.

“Since the code is unlocked, VBA PowerTools are a great way of showing developers how to work with the various VBA-enabled applications,” said Don Baarns, president of Baarns Consulting. “The sample PowerTools we posted to the Web are just some of the many end-user and developer-focused tools we produce with Visual Basic for Applications.”

VBA PowerTools Available on the Web

Customers who visit the VBA PowerTools Web site can access updates and information on demand on the VBA PowerTools program. As the most effective way of distributing application feature enhancements, the Internet allows users to attain the latest information instantly. VBA PowerTools available today include these:

  • Visio Rummler-Brache (a.k.a. “Swimlanes”) Process Flow diagrams – Diagram
    Wizard. This add-in to Visio helps users create a special type of flowchart known as a Swimlanes Diagram by automatically assisting with tasks such as positioning process step shapes and resizing lanes to accommodate more processes.

  • Microsoft Access Administrator. This Access add-in helps system administrators manage Access database applications. It enables them to view database properties and characteristics, such as which users have a database file open.

  • Microsoft Word Legal Table of Contents Builder. This add-in to Word helps users create a legal-style table of contents where the text is the first sentence of the numbered heading or paragraph.

“In addition to the solutions being built by the enormous VBA developer community,” said Scott Campbell, manager of developer marketing at Visio Corp., “the VBA PowerTools provide a way for the shrink-wrapped application industry to add enhanced value after we’ve shipped.”

Pricing and Availability

VBA PowerTools can be downloaded immediately at no charge from the Microsoft Web site (connect-time charges may apply). Microsoft has posted VBA PowerTools on its Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/vba/vbapowertools.htm. Additional PowerTools will be posted regularly. In addition to the tools currently posted, Web visitors can suggest ideas for additional tools or product features they would like to see. A link on the Web page enables users to send their own suggestions or solutions to the VBA PowerTools team at Microsoft.

About Visual Basic for Applications

Visual Basic Applications Edition version 5.0 is the core development environment of the world’s leading component-based development tool, used by more than 3 million developers and available to third parties throughout the VBA licensing program. A member of the popular Visual Basic family, Visual Basic for Applications provides an integrated development

environment that includes many of the elements available today in the standalone versions of Visual Basic 5.0, such as Project Window, Properties Window and rich debugging. It also

features a cross-platform forms package and support for the thousands of ActiveX® Controls currently available, as well as many other advanced productivity and ease-of-use features. For more information on VBA and Office programmability, please visit the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/vba/ and http://www.microsoft.com/officedev/ , respectively.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Visual Basic, PowerPoint and ActiveX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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