Understanding the Office JavaScript API

An Office Add-in can use the Office JavaScript APIs to interact with content in the Office document where the add-in is running.

Accessing the Office JavaScript API library

The Office JavaScript API library can be accessed via the Office JS content delivery network (CDN) at: https://appsforoffice.microsoft.com/lib/1/hosted/office.js. To use Office JavaScript APIs within any of your add-in's web pages, you must reference the CDN in a <script> tag in the <head> tag of the page.

<head>
    ...
    <script src="https://appsforoffice.microsoft.com/lib/1/hosted/office.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
</head>

Note

To use preview APIs, reference the preview version of the Office JavaScript API library on the CDN: https://appsforoffice.microsoft.com/lib/beta/hosted/office.js.

For more information about accessing the Office JavaScript API library, including how to get IntelliSense, see Referencing the Office JavaScript API library from its content delivery network (CDN).

API models

The Office JavaScript API includes two distinct models:

  • Application-specific APIs provide strongly-typed objects that can be used to interact with objects that are native to a specific Office application. For example, you can use the Excel JavaScript APIs to access worksheets, ranges, tables, charts, and more. application-specific APIs are currently available for the following Office applications:

    This API model uses promises and allows you to specify multiple operations in each request you send to the Office application. Batching operations in this manner can significantly improve add-in performance in Office applications on the web. Application-specific APIs were introduced with Office 2016 and cannot be used to interact with Office 2013.

    Note

    There is also an application-specific API for Visio, but you can use it only in SharePoint Online pages to interact with Visio diagrams that have been embedded in the page. Office web add-ins are not supported in Visio.

    See Using the application-specific API model to learn more about this API model .

  • Common APIs can be used to access features such as UI, dialogs, and client settings that are common across multiple types of Office applications. This API model uses callbacks, which allow you to specify only one operation in each request sent to the Office application. Common APIs were introduced with Office 2013 and can be used to interact with Office 2013 or later. For details about the Common API object model, which includes APIs for interacting with Outlook, PowerPoint, and Project, see Common JavaScript API object model.

Note

Some Excel custom functions run within a unique runtime that prioritizes execution of calculations and don't have a task pane. These functions use a slightly different programming model and are called UI-less functions.

API requirement sets

Requirement sets are named groups of API members. Requirement sets can be specific to Office applications, such as the ExcelApi 1.7 requirement set (a set of APIs that can only be used in Excel), or common to multiple applications, such as the DialogApi 1.1 requirement set (a set of APIs that can be used in any Office application that supports the Dialog API).

Your add-in can use requirement sets to determine whether the Office application supports the API members that it needs to use. For more information about this, see Specify Office applications and API requirements.

Requirement set support varies by Office application, version, and platform. For detailed information about the platforms, requirement sets, and Common APIs that each Office application supports, see Office client application and platform availability for Office Add-ins.

Note

If you plan to publish your add-in to AppSource and make it available within the Office experience, make sure that you conform to the Commercial marketplace certification policies. For example, to pass validation, your add-in must work across all platforms that support the methods that you define (for more information, see section 1120.3 and the Office Add-in application and availability page).

See also