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One of 1-2-3's most appreciated assets is that it can be endlessly customized to meet the needs of an individual or a business. Its macro language provides some of this flexibility, and various products let programmers create add-ins to take 1-2-3 far beyond its off-the-shelf powers. Now 1-2-3 for Windows has joined other releases in offering this level of control, with Lotus Development Corp.'s summer relese of the 1-2-3 for Windows Add-In Development Kit--the ADK for short. The ADK lets experienced C programmers unlock the back doors of 1-2-3/W and write seamlessly integrated programs.
Custom add-ins empower 1-2-3/W with new @functions. For example, you might add a general-interest function that Lotus Development left out of 1-2-3, such as one that calculates factorials. Or you could add a function tailored to the needs of your company--perhaps one that converts a code number to the name of the city where a branch office is located.
Add-ins can also create new macro commands. You might want to add a @obCOLORIZE@cb command that sets the foreground and background colors of a range. Although you can effectively add a new command to a worksheet by using macro code (see "Streamlining with Sub-routines, Part 2" in this issue), commands generated by an add-in run much more quickly.
More important, commands created with add-ins operate in ways that are beyond the capability of macro-based pseudo-commands. For example, an add-in-based command can cause a dialog box to appear--you can't do that …