Unable to build

Nov 3, 2010 at 1:25 AM


I have downloaded the latest version of the source code and followed the instructions in HowToBuild.txt. But I get the following error when rebuilding the solution:

Error 1 Cannot find the certificate that matches the project system thumbprint.  To sign the application and deployment manifests, open the Project Designer, click the Signing page tab, select an existing certificate, and try again. ExcelTemplate

When looking at the properties of the ExcelTemplate project under Signing, "Sign the ClickOnce manifests" is checked, but "Issued to" and all the other certificate properties are missing indicating that the certificate is missing. I guess this must be an error?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards

Nov 3, 2010 at 4:52 AM


The source code does not include the certificate I use to sign the ExcelTemplate project.  You need to use your own certificate.  On the Signing tab, click either Select from Store to use one of the certificates you already have, or Create Test Certificate to create one.

-- Tony

Nov 3, 2010 at 4:54 AM

By the way, you didn't say which version of the source code you are using.  The latest version as of today is, available on the Downloads tab.  The Source Code tab is no longer used, and I haven't figured out a way to hide it.

-- Tony

Nov 3, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Hi Tony,

Thanks for answering.

Actually I made it work at last, but here are my findings on the way. Maybe it could be useful to others. I downloaded the 154 version from the downloads tab. I tried what you suggested and generated a test certificate and rebuilt the installation project. I got the same error as mentioned in another thread:

Error 1001. The The Visual Studio Tools for Office solution was signed by an untrusted publisher and as such cannot be installed automatically. Please use your browser to navigate to C:\Program Files\ ... \Microsoft.NodeXL.EscelTemplate.vsto in order to install the solution manually. You will be prompted if the solution is trusted for execution.

I installed the certificate into CURRENT_USER\Trusted Root Certification Authorities, but with same result. However if I remove the /S switch for the call to ExecuteVSTOInstaller in ClickOnceInstaller, I get a prompt asking if I want to install the VSTO, and was able to install successfully. Subsequently I tried removing the certificate from Trusted Root Certification Authorities, and was still able to install, so it looks like this had no effect.

So I would recommend anyone building NodeXL to remove the /S switch unless they use a real certificate from one of the big CA's.

Best regards

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:42 PM
Edited Nov 4, 2010 at 1:58 AM

By doing that, you are patching over the root cause of the problem, which is that the custom action implemented in the ExcelTemplateTrustInstaller project is failing in your setup.  The purpose of that custom action is to eliminate the need for the VSTO prompt that you are now seeing.  If you don't mind users having to answer that additional prompt, then you should be okay.  In our own setup, users don't see that prompt.

The custom action may be silently failing for you because the public key embedded in the custom action doesn't match your test certificate.  The gory details concerning the custom action can be found here, if you're interested:


I never expected anyone else to rebuild our setup program -- I thought that programmers were using the lower-level classes and bypassing the Excel application -- and so I never fully documented all the intricacies of the setup program.  I'll try to do that if I get a chance.

By the way, the setup program has been the single most difficult aspect of the entire project.  With VSTO, ClickOnce, Windows Installer, UAC, single user vs. everyone, 32-bit vs. 64-bit, and various other complications coming into play, the setup program has been a huge headache.  I've learned to despise it.

-- Tony