Microsoft KB Archive/100944

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XL3/XL4: Macro to Open an Add-in for Editing

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 3.0, 4.0, 4.0a
  • Microsoft Excel for OS/2, version 3.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 3.0, 4.0


In the versions of Microsoft Excel listed above, it is possible to create a macro that will open an add-in macro sheet so that you can edit it.


To manually open a Microsoft Excel add-in macro sheet for edit it, you have to hold down the SHIFT key when you open the file. To simulate this behavior in a macro, use the method appropriate to your version of Microsoft Excel.

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Microsoft Excel Version 3.0 or 4.0

To open an add-in macro for editing in Microsoft Excel version 3.0 or 4.0, you can use the following sample macro code

   A3: =NEW.WINDOW()
   A5: =CLOSE()
   A6: =RETURN() 


  • Cell A1 of the macro opens the add-in macro ADDIN.XLA, which remains invisible.
  • Cell A2 activates ADDIN.XLA.
  • Cell A3 creates a new window, titled "ADDIN.XLA:2." Because of the way in which the NEW.WINDOW() command works, this new window is visible.
  • Cell A4 activates ADDIN.XLA:1, which is still invisible.
  • Cell A5 closes the ADDIN.XLA:1 window. Since there is only one other window containing ADDIN.XLA (ADDIN.XLA:2), that window's title changes to ADDIN.XLA.
  • Cell A6 ends the macro.

Microsoft Excel for Windows or OS/2

To open an add-in macro for editing in Microsoft Excel for Windows or Microsoft Excel for OS/2, you can use the following sample macro code

   A3: =RETURN() 


  • Cell A1 of the macro sends the key combination ALT+F+O, which is the same as selecting Open from the File menu.
  • Cell A2 sends the name of the add-in macro (ADDIN.XLA) followed by a SHIFT+ENTER key combination. This is equivalent to holding down the SHIFT key while opening the add-in macro.
  • Cell A3 ends the macro.

NOTE: This second method does not work in Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh because the SEND.KEYS() command is not available in Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh.


"Function Reference," version 4.0, page 385
"Function Reference," version 3.0, pages 214-215

Additional query words: 4.00a addin international hidden howto XL3 XL4

Keywords : kbmacro
Version : WINDOWS:3.0,4.0,4.0a; OS/2:3.0; MACINTOSH:3.0,4.0
Issue type : kbinfo
Technology :

Last Reviewed: November 9, 1999
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