Smart tags in Excel are the little triangles in the corner of cells that sometimes appear, and when clicked lead you to a menu.
Their intent is to provide the user with added options based on the content in a cell. For example; if a user types a company name in a cell, the smart tag triangle could appear, and on the smart tag menu there might be options to see the Company’s stock price, Homepage, Contact info, etc.
I usually ignore most smart tags, however I always pay attention to the one that says “Inconsistent Formula”, in which case I always double check my work to verify I intended the inconsistency.
Developing Simple Smart Tags by Paul Cornell is an excellent article on the basics of rolling your own smart tag. After a 10 minute read I had a smart tag created, The Bored Smart Tag: When the word “Bored” is typed in a cell a smart tag displays a list of Websites to visit.
Try it Yourself
1. Right Click the file Bored.xml and Choose SAVE TARGET AS
2. Save the file to the directory:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Smart Tag\Lists
3. Open Excel and type the word Bored in a cell
You can easily modify the download to add you own websites.
Smart tags require a later version of Excel to work.
Unfortunately the smart tag is stored in an external file which doesn’t make the solution easily portable.
Does anyone know of a simple “Hello World” tutorial for running a macro from a Smart tag menu item? Update: I found my answer, “The down side to MOSTLs are that the actions are limited to Hyperlinks.”