Handle errors and events in the Office dialog box

This article describes how to trap and handle errors when opening the dialog box and errors that happen inside the dialog box.


This article presupposes that you are familiar with the basics of using the Office dialog API as described in Use the Office dialog API in your Office Add-ins.

See also Best practices and rules for the Office dialog API.

Your code should handle two categories of events.

  • Errors returned by the call of displayDialogAsync because the dialog box cannot be created.
  • Errors, and other events, in the dialog box.

Errors from displayDialogAsync

In addition to general platform and system errors, four errors are specific to calling displayDialogAsync.

Code number Meaning
12004 The domain of the URL passed to displayDialogAsync is not trusted. The domain must be the same domain as the host page (including protocol and port number).
12005 The URL passed to displayDialogAsync uses the HTTP protocol. HTTPS is required. (In some versions of Office, the error message text returned with 12005 is the same one returned for 12004.)
12007 A dialog box is already opened from this host window. A host window, such as a task pane, can only have one dialog box open at a time.
12009 The user chose to ignore the dialog box. This error can occur in Office on the web, where users may choose not to allow an add-in to present a dialog box. For more information, see Handling pop-up blockers with Office on the web.

When displayDialogAsync is called, it passes an AsyncResult object to its callback function. When the call is successful, the dialog box is opened, and the value property of the AsyncResult object is a Dialog object. For an example of this, see Send information from the dialog box to the host page. When the call to displayDialogAsync fails, the dialog box is not created, the status property of the AsyncResult object is set to Office.AsyncResultStatus.Failed, and the error property of the object is populated. You should always provide a callback that tests the status and responds when it's an error. For an example that reports the error message regardless of its code number, see the following code. (The showNotification function, not defined in this article, either displays or logs the error. For an example of how you can implement this function within your add-in, see Office Add-in Dialog API Example.)

var dialog;
function (asyncResult) {
    if (asyncResult.status === Office.AsyncResultStatus.Failed) {
        showNotification(asyncResult.error.code = ": " + asyncResult.error.message);
    } else {
        dialog = asyncResult.value;
        dialog.addEventHandler(Office.EventType.DialogMessageReceived, processMessage);

Errors and events in the dialog box

Three errors and events in the dialog box will raise a DialogEventReceived event in the host page. For a reminder of what a host page is, see Open a dialog box from a host page.

Code number Meaning
12002 One of the following:
- No page exists at the URL that was passed to displayDialogAsync.
- The page that was passed to displayDialogAsync loaded, but the dialog box was then redirected to a page that it cannot find or load, or it has been directed to a URL with invalid syntax.
12003 The dialog box was directed to a URL with the HTTP protocol. HTTPS is required.
12006 The dialog box was closed, usually because the user chose the Close button X.

Your code can assign a handler for the DialogEventReceived event in the call to displayDialogAsync. The following is a simple example.

var dialog;
    function (result) {
        dialog = result.value;
        dialog.addEventHandler(Office.EventType.DialogEventReceived, processDialogEvent);

For an example of a handler for the DialogEventReceived event that creates custom error messages for each error code, see the following example.

function processDialogEvent(arg) {
    switch (arg.error) {
        case 12002:
            showNotification("The dialog box has been directed to a page that it cannot find or load, or the URL syntax is invalid.");
        case 12003:
            showNotification("The dialog box has been directed to a URL with the HTTP protocol. HTTPS is required.");            break;
        case 12006:
            showNotification("Dialog closed.");
            showNotification("Unknown error in dialog box.");

See also

For a sample add-in that handles errors in this way, see Office Add-in Dialog API Example.