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Developers: How To Modify The Code (I Think)

Jun 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM
Edited Jun 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM
The following are my own hunt-n-peck type of instructions on how to modify the code and install it afterwards.

I've never developed an Office Add-In before, so I figured things out (I hope) through trial and error plus whatever experience I've gained over the years while performing other .Net development, including SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010.

  1. Visual Studio 2012 (I happen to be using VS 2012 Premium, Version 11.0.60610.01 Update 3).
  2. Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 (had to go get this separately. The exe is named OfficeToolsForVS2012RTW.exe). Be sure it says it's for developing Office 2013 add-ins, not Office 2010.
(optional) Remove previously installed version:
  1. Close Outlook 2013 if it's open.
  2. Use Control Panel / Programs / Remove Program to locate Outlook2013TodoAddIn and remove it first.
Modifying the code:
  1. Go to this CodePlex project's Source Code tab location, which at the time of this writing, was
  2. Over towards the right, click the download link.
  3. Save the zip file somewhere OTHER THAN where you saved the original installer ZIP file. It should have a different name automatically, but I just thought I'd state the obvious anyway.
  4. Right-click the zip file and unblock it (you should already know this by now). :-)
  5. Unzip the file somewhere. In my case, I specified D:\SkyDrive\Projects\Outlook 2013 ToDo AddIn.
  6. Navigate to where the .sln file lives and double-click on it.
  7. When Visual Studio 2012 asks if you want to connect to TFS where the original author keeps the code, say no, because there's not a snowballs chance in he-double-hockey-sticks that it will work. Besides, that's his TFS workspace, not yours or mine so we would do well to stay the heck out of there anyway. Feel free to reconnect to your own TFS like I do, but that's a whole separate discussion I won't get into right now.
  8. Once you get past all the warnings and other dialogs, you should be able to navigate to Solution Explorer.
  9. As noted elsewhere in the Discussions, the original .pfx file has a password that the original author admits he doesn't remember. Before you get your panties in a wad or yell WTF, hang on, I'm about to show you how to make your own .pfx replacement. (Insert scene from the end of the movie "Animal House" where the character played by Kevin Bacon is yelling "Remain Calm! All is well!" here).
  10. Locate the existing .pfx file and delete it. You can't use it anyway so don’t' shed any tears over what you just did.
  11. Right click the project (not the solution!) and choose Properties (or Alt+Enter for you keyboard shortcut fanatics, which I admit I'm one of on occasion). Don't use F4 either, because that brings up an entirely different "Properties" window - thank you Microsoft for continuing that tradition of confusion for over a decade now. :-)
  12. When the project properties comes up, click Signing.
  13. Click Create Test Certificate. Just accept the defaults, we're just playing around anyway.
  14. You don't get to pick a name, but that's OK, we don't really care at this point.
  15. Locate "Choose a strong name key file:" and pop open the dropdown listbox. You should see your moments-ago-created file in the list (along with New and Browse). Select the one you created in the previous step. This is probably the most important/complicated step in the whole process.
  16. At this point I, being somewhat paranoid, tend to Save everything, but that's just me. I've only been a developer for 40 years, and tend to be overly paranoid about computers and IDE's crashing on me. Returning to our main story, we last left off at:
  17. Build the solution. OK, Rebuild Solution if you insist. Geez, is EVERYONE as paranoid as me?
  18. Keep that Properties window open. Oh, you closed it? Shame on you! Open it up again. We aren't finished yet!
  19. Click on the Publish tab. This is where the "magic happens". OK, maybe not "magic", but we're about to make this puppy installable, which MIGHT be a wee bit important, right? :-)
  20. Leave everything alone. And for goodness sake, don't go wobbly about the relative path specified, publish. It will all make sense in a moment. Trust me.
  21. Click the "Publish Now" button. That will create the .vsto file and other "goodies" necessary to install this add-in into Outlook 2013.
  22. Still inside VS 2012, use Solution Explorer's "Show All Files" icon (yes, I know, some of you ALWAYS have it set that way, but bear with me, some people don't do that or aren't even aware of it).
  23. Locate the now visible "publish" folder, right-click on it and select "Open Folder in File Explorer".
  24. At this point, you should be looking at a folder that contains the "magic" vsto file and a folder of other goodies.
  25. Double-click on the .vsto file to install it into Outlook 2013.
  26. Batteries not included. Your mileage may vary. Closed course - professional driver. Kids, don't try this at home. Not an attorney or attorney spokesperson. Did NOT stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. If you think development is difficult now, trying doing it with punched cards like I used to do in a previous century.
Jun 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM
LOL, that was a nice step by step instructions guide, I hope it helps someone else to change the code themselves if they wish.

Thank you for putting this effort in. :-)
Jul 20, 2013 at 2:21 AM
Thanks! I was just pulling my hairs because the project just won't open after repairing VS...