Simply put, we can define an Office application to be an Office "document" (for instance, an Access database, Excel workbook, Word document, Word template, or PowerPoint presentation) that contains some special customization. This customization usually takes the form of a combination of VBA procedures and menu and/or toolbar customizations and is generally designed to simplify or automate certain tasks. It may provide utilities , which are programs for performing a specific task, such as printing or sorting.
This may seem like a fairly liberal definition. For instance, if we add a single custom menu item to a Word template that simply adds a closing (Sincerely yours, etc.) to the end of a Word document, we could consider this template to be a Word application. However, it is doubtful that we could get anyone to buy this Word application!
The point we want to emphasize is that an Office application is quite different from a traditional Windows application, such as Excel itself. Traditional Windows applications are built around a main executable file. In the case of Excel, this file is called excel.exe. Of course, a complex application like Excel involves many additional supporting files, such as additional executables, help files, object library files, resource files, information files, ActiveX control files, and the ubiquitous DLL files.
On the other hand, Office applications do not revolve around standalone executable files. Rather, they are created ...