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Excel Add-Ins: How to Find and Use Them



Excel add-ins are similar to smartphone apps and graphic plug-ins. That is, they are separate applications written by independent programmers who provide enhanced capabilities for the primary software. You can also get add-ins for Word, PowerPoint, and other popular programs. Most add-ins are either free or have minimal costs and generally consume very little memory.

How do add-ins work?

Add-ins are very different and therefore work very differently. They are produced from hundreds of sources and cover every imaginable topic. These are the 10 main types, though many of these categories overlap:

  • Charts and graphs
  • Data analysis
  • Education
  • Finance and accounting
  • Formulas / functions
  • Marketing
  • Productivity and time management
  • Reference
  • Reports and templates [1
    9659005] Utilities

Many of them are down and forward compatible, but check the system requirements before downloading anything. Keep in mind that newer ones are not always better: many of the add-ins that were created years ago are still some of the best available.

To check which add-ins you already have

1. To check which add-ins you already have on your system, go to File> Options> Add-Ins . When the View and Manage Microsoft Office Add-ins screen is displayed, note that the active add-ins are displayed in Excel at the top and the inactive add-ins at the bottom.

. 2 In general, the active add-ins are displayed somewhere in the Ribbon. If not (or if your add-in does not appear in the list of active add-ins), enable the Office Add-Ins screen again. Select an option from the Manage: Dropdown (in this case, Excel add-ins), and then click Go .

. 3 Under add-ins available in the add-ins dialog box, select the check boxes next to any desired add-ins and then click OK .

. 4 If your add-in is a COM file, select COM Add-Ins from the Manage: Dropdown list, and then click Go again.

. 5 Under add-ins available in the [COMAdd-Ins dialog box select the check boxes next to any COM add-ins that you want to use, and then click OK .

  01 Excel Add-Ins List in Excel Options JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide

Excel Add-ins List in Excel Options

Note: The Add-Ins option at the bottom of the Backstage menu displays only the add-ins that come with Excel (for example, the Adobe Acrobat PDF Add-in ). However, you can customize the backstage menu with another add-in called Add-in Express or Visual Basic.

How to Find and Install New Add-Ins

There are two ways to find and install Excel add-ins. The first option is to search for Excel add-ins online, search and review hundreds of applications, access the Web site with the add-ins you want, and download and install the application directly from this Web site. The second option is to search for and install the add-ins directly from Excel.

. 1 Add Insert > Add-Ins > Store .

. 2 In the Apps section for Office, select a single category, or click All ; or enter an add-in type in the search box.


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