Download & Installation
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Download & Installation

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Article summary

Spotlight is an Add-In to Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word that provides access to all Dynamic Planning capabilities. You can install it in two ways:

  • Automated. Install Spotlight for Office once and get upgrades in future months automatically. This is the ClickOnce method.
  • Manual. Install Spotlight for Office the first time. When an upgrade is released, uninstall the old version of Spotlight for Office and install the new. This is the InstallShield MSI method.

Recommendation : We recommend that you get automatic upgrades by installing ClickOnce. However, if this is not preferred, then install InstallShield MSI and upgrade it manually with every release. We support backward compatibility of Spotlight for Office so you can upgrade the Add-In less frequently (but at least quarterly).

Note:
For specific release dates for Quick Fix and Feature releases, click the link below and open the Maintenance Schedule. https://planful.com/technology/trust/system-status/
If you areAnd you want or have an automated installation:And you want or have a manual installation:

A New User

See How to Use the ClickOnce Installer for Automatic Upgrades.

See How to Use the InstallShield MSI Installer.

An Upgrading User

Do nothing.

See Upgrading SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office.

Where to Download SpotlightXL and Version Information

The table below shows the links for the latest release. Click the link to access the installation program. If you are prompted to Run or Save the file, click Save, and the program is downloaded to your Downloads folder. If you see the program at the bottom of your browser window, click the arrow to Show in Folder.

ReleaseVersionClickOnceInstallShield MSI
 64-bit*
InstallShield MSI
 32-bit**
Backward Compatibility***

May24

24.5.0

SpotlightXL_ClickOnce.exe
 
 

SpotlightPPT_ClickOnce.exe

SpotlightWord_ClickOnce.exe

SpotlightXL_MSI.exe
 
 

SpotlightOffice_MSI.exe

SpotlightXL_MSI_32.exe

February24

You can verify the checksum for the different Spotlight installers using the information from the following table.

Spotlight InstallerChecksum
SpotlightOffice_MSI.exe (64-bit)58b5f0b0eeb15a885b3b8e5888ab350b
SpotlightXL_MSI.exe(64-bit)95b5273352fa27685e52e560bbcad739
SpotlightXL_MSI_Win32.exe (32-bit)329d72109c7c169d1114097af020c079
SpotlightPPT_ClickOnce.exe44e0ea32e0b37f70df2238689b551893
SpotlightWord_ClickOnce.exe3a85c842a7e95ac80a195bab92a06a38
SpotlightXL_ClickOnce.exe1413c5791a1f1f86f1530904c38cad3f
Notes:
  • If you are an existing SpotlightXL user and you want to use Spotlight only with Excel, then install the SpotlightXL MSI.
  • You will continue to receive automatic updates if you previously installed ClickOnce for SpotlightXL.
  • If you previously installed with InstallShield MSI, uninstall the current Add-In and install the latest MSI Add-In.
  • You should install the 64-bit version if you are using a 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows.
  • You should install the 32-bit version if you are using a 32-bit version of Microsoft Windows.
  • Backward compatibility refers to the version of the Add-In client that works with the Dynamic Planning server. Backward compatibility is never more than 3 months. Planful recommends that users get automatic updates monthly using ClickOnce. However, if this is not possible, then update it at least quarterly using the InstallShield MSI method.

What Version of SpotlightXL Am I Using?

To see which version of SpotlightXL you are currently using, hover your mouse over the Login or Logoff button on the SpotlightXL menu.

ModelingImages01to50image1LogoffVersionInfo.png

Incompatible SpotlightXL Error

Some users do not upgrade their Spotlight Add-In regularly. Sometimes, when a new version of Dynamic Planning is released, older versions of the Spotlight Add-In will not work. We support backward compatibility of Spotlight so you can upgrade the Add-In infrequently but we recommend that you upgrade at least 4 times per year.

If you have received the error message "Incompatible SpotlightXL version," then you need to uninstall the old version of the Spotlight Add-In and install the newest Spotlight Add-In on your computer. See Upgrading SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office for instructions on how to upgrade.

ModelingImages01to50image8incompatiblespotlightxl.png

System Requirements

SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office require the following:

  • Windows 10 or 11

  • Microsoft Excel/Office 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Office 365

  • SpotlightXL Native and SSO users

  • Excel Add-In on Windows 32 and 64 bits

Note:
For optimal performance, we recommend Excel 2016.

SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office Client Requirements

SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office require that you have .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office Runtime on your computer.

Microsoft .NET 4.7.2 and TLS 1.2 Requirement Beginning February 1, 2019

Planful supports only TLS 1.2. All customers who are using either Spotlight or Dynamic Planning must do two steps:

  • Upgrade to .NET Framework 4.7.2.

  • Upgrade to the latest Spotlight Add-in.

By upgrading to Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2, you also get TLS 1.2. Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is an industry standard designed to protect the privacy of information communicated over the Internet.

End users with ClickOnce, which provides automatic installation of the latest client software, must have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2 installed.

Users who manually install the January 2019 or later client software must have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2 installed.

MS Office Users:

If you are using Spotlight for Office (SpotlightXL, PPT, Word) or just SpotlightXL and you do not have .NET Framework 4.7.2 installed, then you are affected by this change. We recommend to update the .NET Framework to 4.7.2 as early as possible. All users who do not have .NET Framework 4.7.2 installed will not be able to access the Spotlight Add-Ins.

If you do not have .NET Framework 4.7.2, then you will see a message on the menu ribbon:

.NET Framework needs to be upgraded. We recommend to do it at the earliest.

ModelingImages01to50image48netframework.png

Browser Users:

If you use any of the modern browsers to log in to Planful (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE 10 and above), you will NOT be affected by this change. All the modern browsers already support TLS 1.2. If you are using lower versions of IE and use TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1, please upgrade to TLS 1.2 by upgrading your .NET Framework.

Upgrading to .NET Framework 4.7.2:

If you see the message that .NET Framework needs to be upgraded, then you need to upgrade the .NET Framework to 4.7.2. To upgrade the .NET Framework to 4.7.2, you need to have Admin rights on your PC, otherwise you can ask your IT team to upgrade it.

If .NET Framework 4.7.2 is already installed, then you do not need to do anything and there will not be any impact for you to access the application.

Where to Download .NET Framework 4.7.2:

https://www.microsoft.com/net/download/dotnet-framework-runtime

How to Determine Which .NET Framework is Installed:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/framework/migration-guide/how-to-determine-which-versions-are-installed

For Additional Information, Refer to the Links Below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/secauthn/transport-layer-security-protocol

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3140245/update-to-enable-tls-1.1-and-tls-1.2-as-a-default-secure-protocols-in-winhttp-in-windows

SpotlightXL Add-In: IE browser Deprecation; Introduction of WebView2 Control

The Spotlight Add-In has been using the .Net Webbrowser control for the user login and Dynamic commentary; the IE browser has been in use at the runtime. With the deprecation of the IE browser support from Microsoft, we are providing users with WebView2 control which is based on the Microsoft Edge Chromium browser. It requires WebView2 runtime for the apps using it.

We have introduced a tenant level flag "NewWebBrowserControl" which will enable us to track WebView2 data installed on the customer system and will analyze which users from the tenants have WebView2 installed in their machine. Admins can enable this flag for all the users in the system. Once the tenant flag is enabled, the SpotlightXL office Add-In will capture the flag details to check the WebView2 installation status on each user's system. You will be able to login via WebView2 control once the server details are captured. In case you face any issue while logging in from WebView2 control, you will have the option to Login via IE.

Where to Download WebView2:

https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=2124703](https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=2124703

Note

You will be logged in via IE control for the first login, to capture the user level WebView2 installation status. For the next log in you can choose to log in via either of these options.

Below are the use-cases that are most likely to occur after the server details are captured post initial login:

1. When the Tenant level flag is ON and the user has WebView2 installed in the user’s system:

  • User login will directly be done via WebView2 control. The login experience and the user interface will remain the same.
  • You will be able to SSO login with WebView2.
  • Last login URL details will be displayed in the URL dropdown. The last logged-in URL will open in webview2 as well.
  • Last login details will be captured in the Login page but will not be carried across different browsers controls in case the user switches between IE and WebView2.
Note
IE login option will be available for the users until all the customers have opted for WebView2 installation. The login button will navigate you to WebView2 but in case of an issue, you will be able to login via IE browser.

SpotlightXL_WebView2_1

2. When the Tenant Level Flag is ON, WebView2 is Not Installed OR Tenant Level Flag is OFF; Webview2 Installed / Not Installed in user’s system:

  •  Users will be logged in via IE. The user interface will remain the same.
  • While logging in to the SpotlightXL, you will see a notification requesting you to install WebView2. This will also contain a link to the WebView2 help documentation.
  • Once WebView2 is installed in the user’s system, login details will be captured and will allow you to login directly via WebView2 from the next login.

SpotlightXL_WebView2_2

SpotlightXL_WebView2_4

SpotlightXL_WebView2_5

Note
Once all the users have WebView2 enabled and no issues occur around it, then eventually the IE-based login option will be removed.

In Practice: To enable Tenant Flag

1.  Open SpotlightXL, go to your profile, and click Manage Your Account.

2. Select Application Settings, scroll down and set the 'EnableNewBrowserControl' to Yes.

SpotlightXL_WebView2_3

In Practice: To use WebView2 control

1. In SpotlightXL, when the Tenant level flag is ON and the WebView2 runtime is installed in the system, Click Login.

2. You will be navigated to the Login page in the Microsoft Edge Chromium browser.

Note
In case you face any issue while logging in via WebView2, you can enable IE control beside the Login button and you will be navigated to the Login page.
Note
In case the flag is not enabled even after this feature is released, the below notifications will be displayed.

Visual Studio

If Visual Studio is not detected, you are prompted to install it.

See also Installation Best Practices.

Installing SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office

If you plan to use SpotlightXL exclusively and not use SpotlightWord or SpotlightPPT, complete the following steps:

  1. Download the appropriate SpotlightXL executable file as instructed by your administrator (choose from ClickOnce, InstallShield MSI 64-bit, or InstallShield MSI 32-bit). The executable files are listed here: Where to Download and Version Information.

  2. Double-click the file (likely in the Downloads folder) to run it.

If you plan to use Spotlight for Office , complete the following steps:

  1. Download the appropriate Spotlight for Office executable file as instructed by your administrator (choose from ClickOnce, InstallShield MSI 64-bit, or InstallShield MSI 32-bit). The executable files are listed here: Where to Download and Version Information.

  2. Double-click the file (likely in the Downloads folder) to run it.

Note:
There is no installation required for Spotlight on the Web.

How to Use the ClickOnce Installer for Automatic Upgrades

The ClickOnce method simplifies ongoing maintenance, as updates are installed automatically after the initial installation. There are three types of ClickOnce installations available for Spotlight for Office:

  • ClickOnce for SpotlightXL
  • ClickOnce for SpotlightWord
  • ClickOnce for SpotlightPPT
    Notes:
    • To use Spotlight for Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, run each ClickOnce installer once for automatic future updates.
    • The ClickOnce installation method is recommended for all users.

    To use the ClickOnce Installer, do the following:

  1. In your application, go to Manage your Account > Spotlight Addins.
    2024-04-29_13-35-34
  2. Select any required file SpotlightXL_ClickOnce.exe, SpotlightPPT_ClickOnce.exe, or SpotlightWord_ClickOnce.exe and download it.
    2024-04-29_13-38-13
  3. Alternatively, you can download the SpotlightXL_ClickOnce.exe, SpotlightPPT_ClickOnce.exe, and SpotlightWord_ClickOnce.exe files from the Where to Download and Version Information article.
    Where to download page
  4. Once downloaded, find the files on your computer (typically in the Downloads folder) and double-click each to run them.
    Download page
  5. Click Install.
    Click once Installer(1)
  6. Once the installation is complete, click Close.
    Click once close

The installer will check if you already have the latest release and display a message stating that The latest version of this customization is already installed if you run the ClickOnce.exe file a second time.

Intaller exist

See also ClickOnce Best Practices

How to Use the InstallShield MSI Installer

Using InstallShield MSI lets you control when the Spotlight Add-In is upgraded. After you install it for the first time, for future releases, you must uninstall the previous release before installing the latest release.

There are three flavors of InstallShield MSI:

  • InstallShield MSI 64-bit and 32-bit for SpotlightXL: provides Spotlight functionality only in Excel.

  • InstallShield MSI 64-bit for Spotlight for Office: provides Spotlight functionality in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

Note:
You must exit the Office applications before installing, uninstalling, or reinstalling SpotlightXL or Spotlight for Office.
These steps apply to either MSI 64-bit or MSI 32-bit:
  1. Download one of the following files from the Where to Download and Version Information table.

    • SpotlightXL_MSI.EXE (64-bit version)

    • SpotlightXL_MSI_32.EXE (32-bit version)

    • SpotlightOffice_MSI.EXE (64-bit version)

    • You should install the Spotlight version (64-bit or 32-bit) that matches your Microsoft Windows version.
  2. Locate the file you downloaded on your computer (likely in the Downloads folder), then double-click the file to run it.

  3. Click Next and follow the prompts to install SpotlightXL or Spotlight for Office. When installation is complete, click Finish.

    ModelingImagesimage209.png

If you try to run the file you downloaded a second time, the installer looks to see if you already have SpotlightXL installed, and if so, gives you choices to Modify, Repair, or Remove the installation. Click Cancel.

When a newer release of SpotlightXL or Spotlight for Office is available, you must uninstall the existing Spotlight Add-In and then install the new. See Upgrading SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office below.

See also InstallShield MSI Best Practices.

Upgrading SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office

The SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office Add-Ins are updated regularly by Planful.

Recommendation : Planful recommends that you upgrade it at least quarterly.

If you have installed the SpotlightXL, SpotlightWord, or SpotlightPPT Add-Ins with ClickOnce (automated method), there are no upgrade steps to do. When you start Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, the Add-In looks for a new Add-In and then automatically uninstalls the old Add-In and installs the newly available Add-In.

If you have installed the SpotlightXL or Spotlight for Office Add-In with InstallShield MSI (manual method), you need to first uninstall the Add-In from your computer, then install the new version.

Note:
  • You must close Excel and reopen it to ensure that the changes installed via MSI and ClickOnce are applied; otherwise, you may encounter issues.
  • You must exit the Office applications before uninstalling and reinstalling SpotlightXL or Spotlight for Office.

Uninstalling SpotlightXL or Spotlight for Office

The following steps apply to either InstallShield MSI 64-bit or InstallShield MSI 32-bit.

  1. Close out of your Office applications: Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

  2. Start Windows Control Panel or Windows Run/Search "Add or Remove Programs."

  3. Scroll down to find SpotlightXL or Spotlight XL|PPT|WORD.

  4. Depending on what version of Windows Control Panel you are using, select it and click Uninstall, or double-click it.

  5. Click OK when asked if you are sure you want to remove the customization from your computer.

  6. To reinstall, follow the instructions for installing the Add-In, either with How to Use the ClickOnce Installer for Automatic Upgrades or How to Use the InstallShield MSI Installer.

Troubleshooting Tips

This article is intended for all types of users and provides troubleshooting tips in case you encounter an error while working on the SpotlightXL and Spotlight for office. For more information go through the articles below.

If you Install both ClickOnce and InstallShield MSI

If you accidentally install both ClickOnce and InstallShield MSI versions of SpotlightXL, an error message will appear when you start Excel.

ModelingImages01to50image5doubleinstallerror.png

To solve this problem, you must uninstall both Add-Ins and then reinstall the version of the Add-In that you want to use going forward.

  1. Close Excel.

  2. Start Windows Control Panel or Windows Run/Search "Add or Remove Programs."

  3. Scroll down to find SpotlightXL. You will see two instances of it.

  4. Depending on what version of Windows Control Panel you are using, select the first SpotlightXL listed, and click Uninstall, or double-click it.

  5. Click OK when asked if you are sure you want to remove the customization from your computer.

  6. Do the same for the second SpotlightXL listed to remove it.

  7. Then reinstall the version of SpotlightXL that you want to use.

Note:
You can tell the difference between the ClickOnce and InstallShield MSI versions of SpotlightXL in the list, but it is still safer to remove both of them and then reinstall:

Visual Studio Error

  1. When you see an error like the one below, rename the VSTOInstaller.exe. The location of the VSTOInstaller.exe is provided in the error message.
    ModelingImagesInstallerError.PNG

  2. When an error is displayed (like the one below) upon Login:

    1. Uninstall all the Excel VSTO Add Ins files. (VSTO stands for Visual Studio Tools for Office.)

    2. Install SpotlightXL.

    3. Install the remaining Add Ins.

ModelingImagesAddinerror.PNG

To uninstall Excel VSTO Add Ins, open the Control Panel, select Add or Remove Programs. Locate the Add In(s) and click Uninstall. As a best practice, it is always suggested to clear the cache before reinstalling.

Note:
The first Add In installed determines the .NET runtime loaded for Excel.
  1. If you are upgrading SpotlightXL from a prior release, you may run into the following error during installation.

     
    ModelingImagescacheerror384x189.png

This issue occurs because the cache is not properly cleared. Clear the cache by running the following command at the command prompt:

rundll32 dfshim CleanOnlineAppCache

Then install the latest version of SpotlightXL.

Spotlight Office Utility Tool

You can use the Spotlight Office Utility tool to quickly troubleshoot installation issues with the Spotlight Office applications. You can identify and troubleshoot the following issues:

  • Installation issues - The Spotlight Office Utility tool provides the capability to enable the log file to capture the MSI & ClickOnce installation procedure. This log file can be used to quickly identify the problem with the installation. Previously, MSI & ClickOnce installations did not provide details about the installation.

  • User account type identification - The user account in the Utility tool helps you to quickly identify whether the account is an Admin or a non-Admin authorized account. This information provides insight on the appropriate installer type for each customer. If the user account is non-Admin, then the customer can use the ClickOnce installer.

  • Compatibility issues - The Spotlight for Office applications requires an appropriate software environment on the customer machine like the Operating System, Microsoft Office version, and the .Net framework. The Utility tool quickly gathers this information, and based on the collected data; the tool suggests the right action to the customer to solve compatibility issues.

  • Installed version information - The Utility tool gathers version information on the installed SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office applications along with the respective type.

  • Logs for Spotlight Office Add-ins - By default, the Spotlight for Office Add-in logs all errors and exceptions within the application. The following are the different levels that you can select for getting the logs printed:

    • Error

    • Warning

    • Info

    • Debug

    • When you select any level, the Spotlight Add-in prints logs for that level along with the levels above it. For example:

    • If you select Debug, then the Spotlight Add-in prints logs for the Error, Warning, Info, and Debug levels.

    • If you select Info, then the Spotlight Add-in prints logs for the Error, Warning, and Info levels.

    • If you select Warning, then the Spotlight Add-in prints logs for the Error and Warning levels.

    • If you select Error, then the Spotlight Add-in prints logs only for the Error level.

  • Conflicting Add-Ins - The Utility tool gathers Add-In information, which helps in reproducing the problems as reported by the customer.

Installation Best Practices

The SpotlightXL and Spotlight for Office Add-In installations are distributed in the Microsoft ClickOnce form and Installshield MSI form. InstallShield MSI form comes as either 64-bit or 32-bit.

ClickOnce Best Practices

ClickOnce allows the user to run an installation program one time to install SpotlightXL, SpotlightPPT, or SpotlightWord and thereafter to receive updates to these Add-Ins automatically.

This format automates the process of updating the Add-Ins each month. Instead of uninstalling the old Add-In, downloading the new Add-In, and then installing the new Add-In each month, users set it up once and then allow the updates to be installed automatically going forward. When a new version of Dynamic Planning is released, the latest Add-Ins will be available in ClickOnce. When users start Excel, Spotlight will look for a new Add-In and then automatically uninstall the old Add-In and install the newly available Add-In.
This format is automated and does not need any local admin privileges.

ClickOnce is recommended for all users.

Note:
It is also recommended that customers install the semi-annual release version of the Office 365 application. The SpotlightXL add-in is certified to work seamlessly with the semi-annual release version.

You can also find installation instructions for the Office 365 application in the following resources:

If you need further assistance, please reach out to your IT team.

In Practice: To Check the Release Version of the Office 365 Application

  1. Open Excel and navigate to the File.

  2. Click Account.

  3. The Product Information, including the release version, will be displayed.

InstallShield MSI Best Practices

This format of the Add-In is MSI (Microsoft Installer) and it is installed with InstallShield. When a new version of Dynamic Planning is released, the latest Add-In will be available in InstallShield MSI, and users can download it. New users can run it immediately. Existing users must use the Control Panel to uninstall the previous release before running the new InstallShield MSI file.

This format is controlled by the user and is manual. It requires local admin privileges on the machine to uninstall and install the Add-In.

You should install the SpotlightXL or Spotlight for Office version (64-bit or 32-bit) that matches your Microsoft Windows version.

Notes:
  • To centrally manage the installation of Spotlight MSI, administrators can utilize Microsoft's Software Center, which provides a centralized platform for managing the installation and uninstallation of applications across multiple machines.
  • In addition, it is also recommended that customers install the semi-annual release version of the Office 365 application. The SpotlightXL add-in is certified to work seamlessly with the semi-annual release version.

Best Practice Examples

Example 1 Basic ClickOnce Installation

User A installs the ClickOnce Add-In in May-17. Then when we release the June-17 Add-In, User A does not have to do anything because Excel automatically installs the latest Add-In. This option is recommended for all users.

Example 2 Basic InstallShield MSI Installation

User B installs the InstallShield MSI Add-In in May-17. Then when we release the June-17 Add-In, User B has to uninstall the May-17 Add-In with Control Panel and then install the June-17 Add-In.

Example 3 Switch from InstallShield MSI to ClickOnce Installation

User C already has the SpotlightXL Add-In installed from previous months, but wants to automate the Add-In installation going forward. User C has to uninstall their Add-In using Control Panel, and then install the May-17 ClickOnce Add-In.

Example 4 Switch from ClickOnce to InstallShield MSI Installation

User D installs the ClickOnce Add-In in May-17 and gets the latest Add-In in June-17 automatically. If the user does not want to get the latest Add-In automatically in July-17, then User D can uninstall ClickOnce, uninstall the current Add-In, and then install the June-17 InstallShield MSI Add-In so that the process will be manual going forward.


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