How to Create Excel Add-In (with Detailed Steps)

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In this article, we will learn how to create an Excel add-in easily. What Add-in basically does is give Excel additional functionality which is highly customizable. Excel is supposed to make things easy, and VBA tries to make them easier. But this is a hell lot of complications. You might have to create a macro that takes in an input file and performs the process on it. A very simple way of doing it would be converting your code into an Add-in.

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Add-In File:

Excel File:

What Is an Excel Add-In?

Add-in is additional functionality of Excel. Sometimes we need to use a specific function or VBA multiple times. We need to call that function or VBA code every time. To get relief from the repeated task, we can set an add-in to perform that task.

Steps to Create Excel Add-In

To create Excel Add-in, we need to follow some steps sequentially to perform that Add-in successfully. Those are:

  • Step 1: Record an Excel Add-in
  • Step 2: Save the Add-in in .xlam format
  • Step 3: Install the Add-in
  • Last Step: Run the Add-in

We will discuss all the steps in detail in the below section.

We will create an Excel Add-in to calculate the interest of the investment like a bank or other financial organization. Have a look at the below discussion.

Step 1: Record an Excel Add-In

The first step of this process is to record a macro to create an Excel Add-in.

  • First, open a blank Excel workbook.
  • Go to the bottom section that contains the sheet name.
  • Press the right button of the mouse.
  • Choose the View Code option from the Context Menu.

  • We enter the VBA window.
  • Select Module from the Insert tab.

  • Now, the VBA module window appears, and we put the following VBA code.
Function bank_int(principle As Double, rate As Double, timeperiod As Integer)
bank_int = (principle * (1 + rate) ^ timeperiod) - principle
End Function

Create Excel Add-in Using a VBA code

This VBA defines the operation performed by the Add-in.

Step 2: Save the Add-In in XLAM Format

We already added a VBA code in the Excel file. Usually, we save a VBA code in .xlsm format. But, here we will save this in .xlam format as it is an Add-in.

  • Go to File >> Save As.
  • Choose Excel Add-in (*.xlam) format and then click on the Save options.

Save the Excel Add-in

  • Go to the File Explorer.

We can see the file is saved in Add-in format.

Step 3: Install the Add-In

Our Excel Add-in file is ready. Now, we will install the newly created Add-in file to another Excel file.

  • First, we enter the working Excel file.
  • Go to the Developer tab and click on the Excel Add-ins section.

Install Add-in in Excel

  • The Add-ins window appears. Click on the Browse option.

  • Now, choose the Add-in file from File Explorer.
  • Select the file, and press the OK button.

Select file for Add-in

  • The Add-ins window again appears.

We can see the new add-in has been added here.

Step 4: Run the Add-In

Now, we will use the newly created add-in.

  • This Add-in will be used to calculate the amount of interest.
  • We collect all data in the Excel workbook, where we added the Add-in.

  • Now, go to Cell C8. Then, apply the following formula.

Use add-in Excel

  • After that, press the Enter button.

We get the result. Now, we will able to use this add-in to any Excel file of that computer.


In this article, we described the steps of how to create an excel add-in. We also showed how to install and use that created add-in. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please have a look at our website ExcelDemy and give your suggestions in the comment box.

Kanupriya Nohwar

Kanupriya Nohwar

Hi, my name is Priya and I am a VBA expert. I self-learned this while working to a telecom giant We used to have a lot of data in form of subscriber info services call etc. To handle the same efficiently I came across this very interesting and helpful feature about excel and other office products.

1 Comment
  1. How could you do this so that no one could see the code and I could sell it to others?

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