Writing Efficient VBA UDFs Part 15: Adding Intellisense to your UDFs

For several years people have been asking the Excel Dev team to add the capability to create Intellisense for UDFs to work the same way as native Excel functions. Well, now Govert van Drimmelen, author of the wonderful Excel DNA, has made a solution available for both VBA and XLL UDFs. It is now available in public Beta test.

Entering a Function

Lets walk through an example of using a function that has had Intellisense enabled by Govert’s method. As you start typing the name of the function you get a list of functions and an explanation of the function:


Double-clicking the selected function starts entering the function in the formula bar and gives you an additional explanation of the first parameter:


Selecting the name of the function in the Intellisense popup shows a blue link if Help has been enabled for the function:


Clicking the link shows you help:


Pressing Control-A invokes the Function Wizard:


Or pressing Control-Shift-A fills the function in the formula bar and you can double-click each parameter to get text describing the parameter.


Implementing IntelliSense using Govert’s Method

It is really simple to implement this: see Govert’s Excel-DNA Intellisense GitHub page.

For VBA workbooks or add-ins:

  • Download and load the latest ExcelDna.IntelliSense.xll or ExcelDna.IntelliSense64.xll from the Releases page.
  • Either add a sheet with the IntelliSense function descriptions, or a separate xml file

For my example I added a worksheet called _IntelliSense_ with the descriptions:


Note: DNA Intellisense does not itself enable the descriptions in the Function Wizard or build the Help text for you.


At the moment ExcelDNA Intellisense works with Excel 2010 and later versions, Windows 7 and later versions.

You can log issues on the Github site and Govert is very responsive.


I think Govert has done a fantastic job with this.

Please help by testing this solution so that it can progress beyond Beta test.










This entry was posted in .NET, UDF, VBA, XLL and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Writing Efficient VBA UDFs Part 15: Adding Intellisense to your UDFs

  1. kalx says:

    Govert’s work is nothing short of amazing. I’ve had the same experience as you with my add-in library. Everyone asks how to add Intellisense. Now we can..

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