Favourite Free Excel Add-Ins

Excel is certainly packed with features, but I use a few free add-ins that make Excel even better.

[Update] I've created a list of all the free Excel add-ins that were suggested in the comments. Thanks for sharing your favourites!

Name Manager

by Jan Karel Pieterse of JKP Application Development Services

If you use names in Excel, you need this tool. You can quickly find names with errors and delete them, or track names that link to another workbook. There are many more features, so download Name Manager, and see what it can help you with.


Excel Utilities

by Rob Bovey of AppsPro

Rob's add-in has handy tools for working with named ranges, worksheets and selections. You can quickly protect and unprotect all the sheets in a workbook, remove unused styles, and my favourite – centre across a selection, without merging cells.

There are many more features, and you can read the full description on Rob's page for Excel Utilities.


Pivot Power

Since I work with pivot tables so often, I created my own pivot table add-in, that you can download.

The commands that I use most often are Clear Old Data, and Sum All Data.


Your Favourite Free Excel Add-Ins

What are your favourite free add-ins for Excel? Any of the ones that I've listed? Have you created some of your own?


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25 Responses

  1. From
    The ones I use are:
    Name Manager (of course, #1)
    VBA Code Cleaner ( I use it all the time)
    MZ Tools ( I use it daily)
    FindLinks by Excel MVP Bill Manville


    Chart Labeler
    Steven Bullen’s Smart Indenter, VBE Tools
    John Walkenbach’s J-Walk Chart Tools , Power Utility Pak (not free but almost)
    ASAP Utilities
    Inno Setup
    FlexFind from Jan Karel Pieterse
    Andy Pope’s Button Editor
    JMT Utilities from http://www.andrewsexceltips.net/JMT%20Full%20List.htm
    NB NOT from http://jmt.puremis.net/jmtutils which Google warns ‘may damage your computer’

  2. sam says:

    What No ASAP Utilities…..Without Doubt the best Free General purpose set of excel utilities ever…

  3. Mathias says:

    Thanks for the pointers! I definitely have to look up the name manager add-in. Excel 2007 was a big improvement on that front, but anyone who has had to maintain an Excel 2003 workbook with numerous and long names knows this is a nightmare.

    It’s technically not an add-in, but I wrote a small free application, Akin, which opens 2 workbooks and helps track down where the differences are. You can check it out at http://www.clear-lines.com/akin.aspx. I would actually really welcome feedback!

  4. Bob Phillips says:

    Analysis Toolpak! #1.

    Rob Bovey’s Code Cleaner.

    Rob Bovey’s Chart Labeller (is there a common theme here?).


    The only others I use are my own utilities, a DV Manager (similar to NameManager, just for DV), and a Form Manager (to facilitate form design without the designer).

    Mathias, JKPs NameManger is streets ahead of the 2007 builtin Name Manager.

  5. Ross says:

    Dv manager and a Form Manager! I’m intrigued, worth a blog post Bob?!

  6. Bob Phillips says:

    Hi Ross,

    Yeah, I guess they are worth something. Neither is a polished product yet, they are good enough for me, but not for the market.

  7. JP says:

    I’ve written a few:


    The most popular one seems to be Random Data Generator.

  8. Bob R says:

    Debra – Re “and my favourite – centre across a selection, without merging cells” – Were you aware that you can do that using regular Excel? On Home tab in Alignment group, click drop down arrow on lower right. In the drop down box under the word Horizontal, select “Center across Selection”.

  9. Jon Peltier says:

    I’ve written about my favorite Indispensable Excel Utilities, but here’s a recap of my list.

    My favorites for Excel:

    Jan Karel Pieterse’s Name Manager and AutoSafe
    Rob Bovey’s Chart Labeler
    Ken Puls’ XLG Favourites

    My favorites for VBA:

    Carlos Quintero’s MZ Tools
    Rob Bovey’s Code Cleaner
    Stephen Bullen’s Smart Indenter and VBE Tools

    Free add-ins I’ve written myself and posted:

    Change Series Formula
    Label Last Point for Excel 2007
    LOESS Utility for Excel

    I want to echo Bob’s comparison of JKP’s Name Manager vs. Excel 2007’s lame version, which improved a lot on the classic dialog, but fell far short.

  10. Jim Cone says:

    Those with XL2003 or earlier versions might want a thesaurus.
    (it works on the later versions too)

    Download “Thesaurus for Excel” from…

  11. Bob Phillips says:

    JP, your random data generator is great. I have used it a bit, currently updating for 2007 which I will send you.

  12. Bob Phillips says:

    Jon, I am impressed. You spelt favourites correctly

  13. Bob Phillips says:

    Patrick: describing Inno Setup as an Excel addin is pushing it a bit

    Generally, Am I the only one who doesn’t use Smart Indenter? I have never found a need for it personally.

  14. JP says:

    Thanks Bob, there is a 2007 version on my site, but send away!

  15. Bob Phillips says:

    Oh is there? I thought I had read that you didn’t have 2007 so invited others to update it for you.

  16. JP says:

    Yes, Dick Kusleika tested it for me and it seems to work.

  17. Jon Peltier says:

    Bob P – Notice I spelled it both ways. The normal way for my own words, and the longer way as the title of an add-in.

    Bob R – Center Across Selection is great, but you need at least a macro if you want a simple button click to do it for you.

  18. Thanks for all the suggestions and links!

    Bob R, in the good old days (Excel 97?) there was a Centre Across Selection button on the Formatting toolbar. Suddenly, it disappeared, and was replaced by the evil Merge and Centre button.

    Now, as you pointed out, the only way to get to that Centre Across Selection setting is to dig down into the Cell Formatting dialog box. Who has time for that? ;-)

  19. Jason Morin says:

    I developed a small add-in that let’s me unhide multiple worksheets at once. I use it all the time for big workbooks. Same GUI as Excel’s unhide feature, but now I can select one or more hidden and/or veryhidden worksheets from a listbox. Currently using XL2000 on a company laptop by the way (don’t ask).

    Some other add-ins I use:
    *Password remover from straxx.com
    *Bill Manville’s Find Links

  20. Bob P. “Inno Setup as an Excel addin is pushing it a bit “
    It’s actually pushed over the edge, I had just pasted that in from J-W’s list and hadn’t bothered to edit it out :-~

  21. Shahbaz says:

    Here is my list in descending order.

    ASAP Utilities
    Name Manager
    Flexible Find & Replace
    JMT Excel Utilities
    Ultimate Add-in

  22. Barbara says:

    I use several of those utilities already mentioned, John Walkenbach’s row delete, Excel utilities from http://www.appspro.com/ and findlinks.
    One which I do not think has been mentioned is Navigator Utilities from http://www.navigatorutilities.com, the links part is wonderful as you can actually go to the linked cell.

  23. […] Center Across Selection     In Favourite Free Excel Add-Ins, one of the commenters (and Debra) complains about the Center Across Selection being buried in the […]

  24. Contextures Blog » Create List of Names In a Workbook says:

    […] mentioned Jan Karel Pieterse’s Name Manager before, as one of my favourite Excel add-ins. If you’re working with names, in any version of Excel, you should download and install it. […]

  25. John says:

    I use workbook Navigation a lot having many useful list of sheet names, links, comments, etc. with hyperlink and more from http://shahshaileshs.web.officelive.com/Addins.aspx.

    The active sheet name showing in the title is also useful alongwith row and column highlited (and undo is also worked).

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