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Microsoft  PowerPoint MVP 2003-2007



Install an add-in

While the examples shown below are for PowerPoint 2003, similar menus and commands are used for PowerPoint 97, 2000, and 2002 (PowerPoint XP). 

 PowerPoint add-ins can be installed by following these instructions:

1) Macro security


You will need to allow PowerPoint to let the add-in install.  To reset the security level, click on Tools Macro... Security. 

  (Click on image to enlarge)


A dialog box will open ...

This dialog box allows you to set the security level for Macros and VBA add-ins. 

If you set it to High then no add-ins will install and no macros will run.

If you set it to medium, then PowerPoint will ask you prior to running any macros or uninstalled add-ins.

If you set it to Low, then any add-in or macro will run without prompting the user.

Note: If you are running PowerPoint 2003 then there is also a Very High level that will disable all macros and add-ins.

You should set the security to low or medium to install the add-in, and reset it to your normal level once the add-in is installed.


While you are there ...



Look at the Trusted Publishers tab to ensure that the Trust all installed add-ins and templates is checked.

This will allow an installed add-in to run even with a macro security set to High.  In short it protects you from uninstalled code while letting installed code run.

Click OK to exit out of the dialog box.




2) Place add-in file in add-in directory.

PowerPoint add-ins are given the extension PPA and are usually kept in the default add-in folder.  However, this is not required since an add-in can run from any folder on your computer.  I recommend keeping all your add-ins together in this folder to make finding them easier.

Usually, the default add-in folder for PowerPoint (and other MS Office add-ins) is labeled similar to the path listed below.  Obviously, you will need to replace the {username} with your user name.

c:\Documents and settings\{user name}\Application data\Microsoft\Addins\

The default setting for Windows XP is not to show some folders.  The 'Application Data' folder is one of these hidden folders.  If your system does not display this folder, then click on Tools Folder Options View and change the 'Hidden files and folders' setting to 'Show hidden files and folders'.

When you open the add-in directory (in the add-in dialog box) it will always open in the default add-in directory.  You can copy down this path or follow the directions below.

Alternately, you can find this folder by clicking on the 'My Computer' icon on the desktop, if there is one.  If there isn't, then check under the start menu for the My Computer tab.  When this opens it will show many icons, one for each drive.  Double click on the one labeled c: to open that level.  You will see a new group that will have 'Documents and settings' listed.  Continue to double click on each of the icons to build the path.

Paste or un-zip the file to this folder.  The PPA file will now be shown immediately when PowerPoint looks into the default add-in folder.


3) Install the Add-in into PowerPoint


Click on Tools -> Add-ins and a dialog box will open.  In this dialog box will be listed the add-ins you have installed, with check boxes for the ones that are active.

Click on the Add New... button and select the add-in from the directory where you placed the PPA file.

The add-in should now be active.  Click on the Close button to close the dialog box.



4) Restore security

Don't forget to restore your Macro security level (that you reset in step one) to your normal operating level.


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Copyright 2004-2007 Bill Dilworth
Last modified: 06/12/07