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

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!

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

What Is an Excel Add-In?

Add-in is an 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.

How to Create an Excel Add-In: Step by Step Procedure

To create an 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 on 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 on 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 enter 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 to 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 the 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 in 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 collected all the 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 be able to use this add-in in any Excel file on that computer.

Read More: How to Remove Excel Add-In

Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article.

Add-In File:

Excel File:


In this article, we describe the steps for how to create an Excel add-in. We also showed how to install and use the newly created add-in. I hope this will satisfy your needs. And feel free to leave queries or suggestions in the comment section.

What is ExcelDemy?

ExcelDemy Learn Excel & Excel Solutions Center provides free Excel tutorials, free support , online Excel training and Excel consultancy services for Excel professionals and businesses. Feel free to contact us with your Excel problems.
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?

Leave a reply

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF