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Excel Add-Ins ;

Partnering Excel with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) macros enables a powerful tool for small applications. In particular, the rapid application development platform enabled in this way is particularly powerful given the freedom for entering and manipulating data and formulae in Excel, coupled with a programming language behind it which enables professional forms, and functional controls to be easily created.

Setting up a VBA macro in Excel which performs function useful to more spreadsheets than the one currently open (e.g. swapping two sets of cells) is made all the more useful through Add-Ins - macros which sit behind Excel and are available to any open workbook.

What is an Add-In ?

Some examples of add-ins created by add-innovation are below. Most of these will always remain free, while a few more are free for the next few months so install them while you can.  Many of the extra functions provided are very simple in their operation - one (convert formula entries to values) is simply a matter of copying the selected cells, and using the paste-special-values, operation to copy the cells over themselves. So this could be achieved using Excel anyway, but the add-in enables this with a single click.

Help on add-in installation

** Note : Expiry dates set on the Printer/ Splitter, Ignore #N/A, Vlookup Assistant, and What Shape is my Data ?, have been extended due to popular demand !! **

Free Add-Ins ;
Toggle TypeToggle between Numbers and Text : Does what it says ! Numbers are converted to text, text to numbers ! Download

Add leading zero buttonAdd leading zero : Converts numeric values to text, adding a leading zero. Essential for some number or site specific details (e.g. Telephone numbers)

Function to type ButtonFormulas to Values : As in Copy, Paste Special, Values over the top of themselves in a single click. Download

Trim left and right buttonTrim Left and Right ; Removes spaces from the left and right of text.


Switch case buttonChange Case ; Offers a text case conversion like MS-Word does.


Error fix buttonIgnore #N/A ; Where you have a formula over a range of values and one or more of those values are error cells (e.g. #N/A). This button allows your formula to be converted to ignore the error.

Printer / Splitter ButtonPrinter Splitter Macro ; Assuming you've got sheets on your spreadsheet that lay out information copied from a master sheet, in an easy to read form (e.g. via Vlookups, and you allow your user to change a single value which updates all information on the form), this macro enables you to cycle through all possible values of that lookup cell, and save or print selected ranges of cells.

Download the Printer Splitter Macro


VLookup Assistant Button

The VLOOKUP Assistant

Many of us have found VLOOKUPs to be extremely empowering tools in Excel, not only meaning we don't need to repeat  information in our spreadsheets, but more importantly meaning that we only need to maintain that data once.  User abusing their PC following VLOOKUP misery

Many of us have also banged our heads on our desks, walls, keyboards, and torn our hair out when trying to rationalise a VLOOKUP which doesn't find data that we can physically SEE is there ! The answer as to why a VLOOKUP doesn't work, with experience, becomes commonplace, but still tedious to find. There are a number of ways in which we can either change our data so that it can be found, or change the vlookup to add extra formula items which fix the formula.



The VLOOKUP Assistant Test Page



Word Doc.

what shape is my data button What shape is my data ? As the Excel status bar can show you the SUM, AVG, MIN, etc... of your selected data, this add-in shows you interactively many more statistics, a distribution plot, and a box and whisker plot of your data so that you can visualise how your data is distributed in one single click. The results can be captured to your spreadsheet. download
swap cells button Swap Cells. As the description suggests, swaps two selected ranges of text of the same shape and size. download
reset delimiters button Reset Excel's Delimiters. A rarely used, by sanity saving add-in. If you ever open .csv files or use text to columns, then subsequently paste data with embedded commas into a cell, you'll find the data split across several cells, and any pre-existing data overwritten. This macro resets the delimiters to none. download
Add-Innovation toolbar macro help. Opens a form allowing you to select help for any add-innovation tool you have downloaded. download