Add-in commands for Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
For an overview of the feature, see the video Add-in Commands in the Office Ribbon.
Figure 1. Add-in with commands running in Excel Desktop
Figure 2. Add-in with commands running in Excel Online
The following command capabilities are currently supported.
Content add-ins do not currently support add-in commands.
- Ribbon tabs - Extend built-in tabs or create a new custom tab.
- Context menus - Extend selected context menus.
- Simple buttons - trigger specific actions.
- Menus - simple menu dropdown with buttons that trigger actions.
- ShowTaskpane - Displays one or multiple panes that load custom HTML pages inside them.
Add-in commands are currently supported on the following platforms:
- Office for Windows Desktop 2016 (build 16.0.6769+)
- Office for Mac (build 15.33+)
- Office Online
More platforms are coming soon.
Apply the following best practices when you develop add-in commands:
- Use commands to represent a specific action with a clear and specific outcome for users. Do not combine multiple actions in a single button.
- Provide granular actions that make common tasks within your add-in more efficient to perform. Minimize the number of steps an action takes to complete.
For the placement of your commands in the Office ribbon:
- Place commands on an existing tab (Insert, Review, and so on) if the functionality provided fits there. For example, if your add-in enables users to insert media, add a group to the Insert tab. Note that not all tabs are available across all Office versions. For more information, see Office Add-ins XML manifest.
- Place commands on the Home tab if the functionality doesn't fit on another tab, and you have fewer than six top-level commands. You can also add commands to the Home tab if your add-in needs to work across Office versions (such as Office Desktop and Office Online) and a tab is not available in all versions (for example, the Design tab doesn't exist in Office Online).
- Place commands on a custom tab if you have more than six top-level commands.
- Name your group to match the name of your add-in. If you have multiple groups, name each group based on the functionality that the commands in that group provide.
Do not add superfluous buttons to increase the real estate of your add-in.
Add-ins that take up too much space might not pass AppSource validation.
For all icons, follow the icon design guidelines.
Provide a version of your add-in that also works on hosts that do not support commands. A single add-in manifest can work in both command-aware (with commands) and non-command-aware (as a taskpane) hosts.
Figure 3. Task pane add-in in Office 2013 and the same add-in using add-in commands in Office 2016
The best way to get started using add-in commands is to take a look at the Office Add-in commands samples on GitHub.