Microsoft Office XP introduces two new properties to the CommandBarButton
object: the Mask
properties. You can use these properties to place pictures on
custom generated command bar controls. Note
These properties are also available in Microsoft Office
properties are defined as type IPictureDisp
, which is a member of the Stdole library. IPictureDisp
uses methods that cannot be marshalled across process boundaries.
Therefore, the Mask
properties can only be called in-process (VBA macros, Automation
Add-ins, and ActiveX DLLs run in-process). See the "References" section for
more information regarding this behavior.
The sample below shows how
to create an Automation Add-in that adds a CommandBar button with a masked
Steps to Create Images for the Picture and the Mask
- Start Microsoft Paint. On the Image menu, click Attributes. Change the image size to 32x32 and click OK.
- Draw a yellow face on the painting surface. Fill the area
surrounding the circle with blue.
Collapse this imageExpand this image
- Save the image as Circle.bmp.
- To create the mask, fill the circle with black and fill the
area outside the circle with white. When the picture with the mask is added to
the CommandBar control, the black areas of the mask are visible, while the
white areas are transparent.
Collapse this imageExpand this image
- Save the image as Mask.bmp.
Steps to Create the COM AddIn
- Start Visual Basic and create a new AddIn
- On the Project menu, click References. If a "Microsoft Office" type library earlier than version XP is
selected, clear that type library and select the type library for Microsoft
Office XP. Click OK.
- In the Project Explorer, right-click frmAddin and then click Remove frmAddin.
- In the Project Explorer, double-click the Connect designer. For Application select Microsoft Excel, and for Initial Load Behavior select Startup.
- On the View menu, click Code and replace the code for the Add-in with the following:
Dim oExcel As Object
Dim WithEvents oButton As Office.CommandBarButton
Private Sub AddinInstance_OnConnection(ByVal Application As Object, _
ByVal ConnectMode As AddInDesignerObjects.ext_ConnectMode, _
ByVal AddInInst As Object, custom() As Variant)
Dim oPic As stdole.IPictureDisp
Dim oMask As stdole.IPictureDisp
' Load the picture and mask.
Set oPic = LoadPicture(App.Path & "\circle.bmp")
Set oMask = LoadPicture(App.Path & "\mask.bmp")
' Save an instance of our application.
Set oExcel = Application
' Create a new button on the standard CommandBar.
Set oButton = oExcel.CommandBars("Standard").Controls.Add(msoControlButton)
' Set a tag for the button.
.Tag = "My Button"
' Set the event to fire when the button is pressed.
.OnAction = "!<" & AddInInst.ProgId & ">"
' Set the picture property -- if you are using the Mask property, this
' property must be set before you set the Mask property.
.Picture = oPic
' Set the Mask property.
.Mask = oMask
' Show the button.
.Visible = True
Private Sub AddinInstance_OnDisconnection(ByVal RemoveMode As _
AddInDesignerObjects.ext_DisconnectMode, custom() As Variant)
' Delete the button.
' Release references.
Set oButton = Nothing
Set oExcel = Nothing
Private Sub oButton_Click(ByVal Ctrl As Office.CommandBarButton, _
CancelDefault As Boolean)
' Our button was pressed.
MsgBox "The button was pressed!"
- Save the project and build the Add-in in the folder in
which the bitmaps are stored.
- Start Excel. A new control with a yellow circle appears on
the standard CommandBar. Note that the area around the yellow circle is
As previously stated, the IPictureDisp
interface cannot be marshalled across process boundaries.
Attempts to set the Picture
properties out-of-process result in the following
Run-time error '-2147418113(8000ffff)':
Method 'Picture' of object '_CommandBarButton' failed
cannot set these properties for a CommandBarButton
from any out-of-process Automation client or from an in-process
component that is running in debug mode in the Visual Basic IDE. If you run the
sample Add-in described in this article from the Visual Basic IDE, you will
receive this error. To avoid the error while debugging, you can comment the
lines that set the Picture
properties or use conditional compilation, such as an #If...Then...#Else
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How To Build an Office 2000 COM
Add-In in Visual Basic
SAMPLE: Comaddin.exe Office 2000 COM Add-In Written in Visual C++
LPPICTUREDISP Cannot Be Passed Across Process Boundaries
For more information, see the following Microsoft