Add-ins scanner: AddInSpy and AS Diagnostic tools for Microsoft Office add-ins available on MSDN

AddInSpy is a diagnostic tool that detects all registered Microsoft Office add-ins on a computer and reports information about the add-ins. The tool works with all versions of Microsoft Office applications that support COM add-ins, as well as all types of COM add-ins. The tool is available as a free (unsupported) download on the MSDN Code Gallery at


The tool is intended to be used while developing add-ins for 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, or Microsoft Office 2000. You can also use it to troubleshoot issues with deployed add-ins. AS, a scriptable console version of the add-in scanner is also available.


The requirements for AddInSpy include:


· Microsoft .NET CLR 2.0 and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.

· AddInSpy and AS do not require administrative privileges to run.

· On computers running Windows Vista, AddInSpy and AS work with user account control either on or off.

· AddInSpy and AS are both 32-bit applications. They run on either 32-bit or 64-bit editions of Windows. The first release of the tool targets 32-bit Office, and will not work with 64-bit Office.


AddInSpy options


The following table lists the options for configuring the scan. These options are located on the command bar at the top of the AddInSpy window.





Lists the Microsoft Office host applications for which you can perform the scan.

You can select any Microsoft Office host application that supports COM add-ins, that is: Microsoft Office Access, Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office FrontPage, Microsoft Office InfoPath, Microsoft Office Outlook, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Microsoft Office Project, Microsoft Office Publisher, Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer, Microsoft Office Visio or Microsoft Office Word.


Provides a list of scan types.

You can specify whether AddInSpy should scan the HKCU and/or HKLM registry hives; add-ins registered to remote locations (UNC and HTTP); extensibility interfaces implemented in managed add-ins; extensibility interfaces implemented in native add-ins; the disabled items list for this user for each selected application; and Office Outlook custom form regions registered against each add-in.

Note that scanning remote add-ins may be slow, especially if the network connection is slow. Also, if the network or remote location cannot be found, this is reported as an error in the Status description field.


Performs a complete scan or re-scan, using the current settings.

Forces an immediate re-scans when any of the other options are changed.


Provides a list of information to output to the report: either computer and user context information or add-in information, or both.


Produces a report to a file on disk.


Displays a Help document in a Web browser window.

Note that for this to work, the file AddInSpy.mht must be in the same folder as AddInSpy.exe.


The status bar at the bottom of the AddInSpy main window displays the context information. This information includes the computer name, the current user’s domain user-name, the operating system version and service pack number, and the status of the VSTO_SUPPRESSDISPLAYALERTS and VSTO_LOGALERTS environment variables. Note that the Refresh feature also refreshes the computer and user information, but environment variables are not refreshed during the process run.

AS command line options

AS is the scriptable console version of the add-in scanner and offers the same options as AddInSpy. To perform a scan with AS, you specify command line arguments for the options you want to include in the scan, and a report is produced automatically. The following table lists the commands.







The comma-separated list following this option specifies the Microsoft Office application hosts to include in the scan. The following values are allowed in this list:

· Office Access

· Office Excel

· Office InfoPath

· Office Outlook

· Office PowerPoint

· Office Project

· Office Publisher

· Office SharePointDesigner (note no space)

· Office Visio

· Office Word



The comma-separated list following this option specifies the types of data to include in the report. The following values are allowed in this list: