How to: Add an Actions Pane to Excel Workbooks

To add an actions pane to a Microsoft Office Excel workbook, first create a Windows Forms user control. Then, add the user control to the Controls property of the ThisWorkbook.ActionsPane field in your project.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to document-level projects for Excel 2007 and Excel 2010. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.


Your computer might show different names or locations for some of the Visual Studio user interface elements in the following instructions. The Visual Studio edition that you have and the settings that you use determine these elements. For more information, see Working with Settings.

link to video For a related video demonstration, see How Do I: Use WPF Controls Inside an Excel Actions Pane?.

Creating the User Control

The following procedure shows how to create a user control in an Excel project. It also adds a button to the user control that writes text to a worksheet cell when it is clicked.

To create the user control

  1. Open your Excel workbook or template project in Visual Studio.

  2. On the Project menu, click Add New Item.

  3. In the Add New Item dialog box, select Actions Pane Control, name it HelloControl, and click Add.


    You can alternatively add a User Control item to your project. The classes generated by the Actions Pane Control and User Control items are functionally equivalent.

  4. From the Windows Forms tab of the Toolbox, drag a Button control to the control.


    If the control is not visible in the designer, double click HelloControl in Solution Explorer.

  5. Add the following code to the Click event handler of the button.

    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
        Handles Button1.Click
        Globals.Sheet1.Range("A1").Value2 = "Hello world!"
    End Sub
    private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
        Globals.Sheet1.Range["A1", System.Type.Missing].Value2 = "Hello World!";
  6. In C#, you must create an event handler for the Button. You can place this code in the HelloControl constructor. For more information about creating event handlers, see How to: Create Event Handlers in Office Projects.

    public HelloControl()
        this.button1.Click += new System.EventHandler(this.button1_Click);

Adding the User Control to the Actions Pane

To show the actions pane, add the user control to the Controls property of the ThisWorkbook.ActionsPane field.

To add the user control to the actions pane

  1. Add the following code to the ThisWorkbook class as a class-level declaration (do not add this code to a method).

    Dim hello As New HelloControl
    private HelloControl hello = new HelloControl();
  2. Add the following code to the ThisWorkbook_Startup event handler of the ThisWorkbook class.


See Also


Walkthrough: Inserting Text into a Document from an Actions Pane

How to: Add an Actions Pane to Word Documents

Walkthrough: Changing the Actions Pane According to User Context

How to: Manage Control Layout on Actions Panes

Other Resources

Actions Pane Overview