How to: Create Office Toolbars

This example creates a toolbar in Microsoft Office Outlook. The toolbar, which contains two buttons, appears at the top of the application. When you click a button, the code displays a message that shows the button caption.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to application-level projects for the following applications: InfoPath 2007, Outlook 2007, Project 2007, and Visio 2007. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

Although this example is specific to Outlook, the portion of this code that creates toolbars can be used to create toolbars for any of the applications listed above.


Dim newToolBar As Office.CommandBar
Dim firstButton As Office.CommandBarButton
Dim secondButton As Office.CommandBarButton
Dim selectExplorers As Outlook.Explorers

Private Sub ThisAddIn_Startup(ByVal sender As Object, _
        ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Startup
    selectExplorers = Me.Application.Explorers()
    AddHandler selectExplorers.NewExplorer, AddressOf _
End Sub

Private Sub NewExplorer_Event(ByVal new_Explorer _
    As Outlook.Explorer)
    newToolBar = Nothing
    Call Me.AddToolbar()
End Sub

Private Sub AddToolbar()

    Dim button_1 As Office.CommandBarButton
    Dim button_2 As Office.CommandBarButton
    If newToolBar Is Nothing Then
        Dim cmdBars As Office.CommandBars = _
        newToolBar = cmdBars.Add("NewToolBar", _
            Office.MsoBarPosition.msoBarTop, False, True)
    End If
        button_1 = CType(newToolBar.Controls.Add(1),  _
        With button_1
            .Style = Office.MsoButtonStyle.msoButtonCaption
            .Caption = "Button 1"
            .Tag = "Button1"
        End With
        If Me.firstButton Is Nothing Then
            Me.firstButton = button_1
            AddHandler firstButton.Click, AddressOf ButtonClick
        End If
        button_2 = CType(newToolBar.Controls.Add(1),  _
        With button_2
            .Style = Office.MsoButtonStyle.msoButtonCaption
            .Caption = "Button 2"
            .Tag = "Button2"
        End With
        If Me.secondButton Is Nothing Then
            Me.secondButton = button_2
            AddHandler secondButton.Click, AddressOf ButtonClick
        End If
        newToolBar.Visible = True
    Catch ex As Exception
    End Try
End Sub

Private Sub ButtonClick(ByVal ctrl As Office.CommandBarButton, _
        ByRef Cancel As Boolean)
    MsgBox("You clicked: " + ctrl.Caption)
End Sub
Office.CommandBar newToolBar;
Office.CommandBarButton firstButton;
Office.CommandBarButton secondButton;
Outlook.Explorers selectExplorers;

private void ThisAddIn_Startup(object sender, System.EventArgs e)

    selectExplorers = this.Application.Explorers;
    selectExplorers.NewExplorer += new Outlook

private void newExplorer_Event(Outlook.Explorer new_Explorer)
    newToolBar = null;

private void AddToolbar()

    if (newToolBar == null)
        Office.CommandBars cmdBars =
        newToolBar = cmdBars.Add("NewToolBar",
            Office.MsoBarPosition.msoBarTop, false, true);
        Office.CommandBarButton button_1 =
            .Add(1, missing, missing, missing, missing);
        button_1.Style = Office
        button_1.Caption = "Button 1";
        button_1.Tag = "Button1";
        if (this.firstButton == null)
            this.firstButton = button_1;
            firstButton.Click += new Office.

        Office.CommandBarButton button_2 = (Office
            (1, missing, missing, missing, missing);
        button_2.Style = Office
        button_2.Caption = "Button 2";
        button_2.Tag = "Button2";
        newToolBar.Visible = true;
        if (this.secondButton == null)
            this.secondButton = button_2;
            secondButton.Click += new Office.
    catch (Exception ex)

private void ButtonClick(Office.CommandBarButton ctrl,
        ref bool cancel)
    MessageBox.Show("You clicked: " + ctrl.Caption);

Robust Programming

Declare your command bar variables at the class level instead of inside the method where they are called. This ensures that the command bar variables will remain in scope as long as the application is running. Otherwise, the item is removed by garbage collection and your event handler code does not run.

See Also


How to: Add Commands to Shortcut Menus in Excel

How to: Add Custom Menus and Menu Items to Outlook

Walkthrough: Creating Shortcut Menus for Bookmarks


Optional Parameters in Office Solutions

Other Resources

Office UI Customization