Configuring a Computer to Develop Office Solutions
You must install the following prerequisites before you can use the Microsoft Office developer tools in Visual Studio 2012:
For most development tasks, you must also install and register the primary interop assemblies (PIAs) for Microsoft Office in the global assembly cache.
For detailed installation steps, see How to: Configure a Computer to Develop Office Solutions.
The Office developer tools are included only with the following editions of Visual Studio:
Visual Studio Professional
Visual Studio Premium
Visual Studio Ultimate
The Office developer tools are an optional component of Visual Studio. These tools are installed by default when you install one of the Visual Studio editions in the previous list. If you customize the Visual Studio installation by specifying which features to install, specify Microsoft Office Developer Tools during setup to install the tools.
The Office developer tools include the Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime and features that are integrated into Visual Studio itself, such as project templates and designers. For more information about the Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime, see Visual Studio Tools for Office Runtime Overview.
By default, the Office developer tools in Visual Studio include templates only for Microsoft Office 2010. If you want to develop solutions for Office 2013, you must download the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012, which include project templates for Office 2013. To download these tools, see Downloads.
You can use the Office developer tools in Visual Studio 2012 to create solutions that target the .NET Framework 4 or the .NET Framework 4.5.
The .NET Framework 4 is automatically installed when you install Visual Studio. The .NET Framework 4.5 is installed when you install the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012.
You can use Visual Studio 2012 to create solutions for Office 2013 or Microsoft Office 2010. You must have one of the following versions of Office installed locally on the development computer:
Any suite edition of Office 2013 or Microsoft Office 2010, including Office Professional Plus for Office 365.
Any of the following standalone applications:
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) must be installed as part of Office.
Visual Studio 2012 does not support creating Office solutions when the development computer has a version of Office 2013 or Microsoft Office 2010 that was delivered by means of Click-to-Run.
Side-By-Side Installations of Microsoft Office
Visual Studio 2012 does not support creating Office solutions when more than one version of Microsoft Office (or different versions of individual Office applications, such as Excel 2007 and Excel 2010) are installed side-by-side on the development computer. To create Office solutions by using the Office developer tools in Visual Studio 2012, install only Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2013 on the development computer.
Primary Interop Assemblies for Microsoft Office
The Office PIAs must be installed and registered in the global assembly cache to perform the following development tasks:
To create a document-level project.
To run or debug any Office project in which you have changed the Embed Interop Types property of all the PIA references in your project to False.
You can create and build application-level projects without having the PIAs installed in the global assembly cache. However, if you do this, you cannot run or debug the projects in the scenarios listed above.
When you install Office on the development computer, the PIAs are installed and registered in the global assembly cache if the .NET Framework 2.0 or later is installed beforehand.
If you install Office on a development computer that does not have the .NET Framework installed yet, or if you modify Office setup to not install the PIAs, you must install them separately. For more information, see How to: Install Office Primary Interop Assemblies.
Visual Studio 2012 installs private copies of the PIAs outside of the global assembly cache. When you create an Office project, the project references these copies of the PIAs. However, the PIAs must also be installed and registered in the global assembly cache to perform the development tasks listed above. For more information, see Office Primary Interop Assemblies.