Build an Excel task pane add-in
In this article, you'll walk through the process of building an Excel task pane add-in.
Create the add-in
You can create an Office Add-in by using the Yeoman generator for Office Add-ins or Visual Studio. The Yeoman generator creates a Node.js project that can be managed with Visual Studio Code or any other editor, whereas Visual Studio creates a Visual Studio solution. Select the tab for the one you'd like to use and then follow the instructions to create your add-in and test it locally.
To use the Yeoman generator to create an add-in that uses single sign-on (SSO), see instructions in the Single sign-on (SSO) quick start.
If you aren't familiar with Node.js or npm, you should start by setting up your development environment.
npm install -g yo generator-office
Even if you've previously installed the Yeoman generator, we recommend you update your package to the latest version from npm.
Create the add-in project
Run the following command to create an add-in project using the Yeoman generator:
When you run the
yo office command, you may receive prompts about the data collection policies of Yeoman and the Office Add-in CLI tools. Use the information that's provided to respond to the prompts as you see fit.
When prompted, provide the following information to create your add-in project:
- Choose a project type:
Office Add-in Task Pane project
- Choose a script type:
- What do you want to name your add-in?
My Office Add-in
- Which Office client application would you like to support?
After you complete the wizard, the generator creates the project and installs supporting Node components.
You can ignore the next steps guidance that the Yeoman generator provides after the add-in project's been created. The step-by-step instructions within this article provide all of the guidance you'll need to complete this tutorial.
Explore the project
The add-in project that you've created with the Yeoman generator contains sample code for a very basic task pane add-in. If you'd like to explore the components of your add-in project, open the project in your code editor and review the files listed below. When you're ready to try out your add-in, proceed to the next section.
- The ./manifest.xml file in the root directory of the project defines the settings and capabilities of the add-in.
- The ./src/taskpane/taskpane.html file contains the HTML markup for the task pane.
- The ./src/taskpane/taskpane.css file contains the CSS that's applied to content in the task pane.
Try it out
Navigate to the root folder of the project.
cd "My Office Add-in"
Complete the following steps to start the local web server and sideload your add-in.
Office Add-ins should use HTTPS, not HTTP, even when you are developing. If you are prompted to install a certificate after you run one of the following commands, accept the prompt to install the certificate that the Yeoman generator provides.
If you're testing your add-in on Mac, run the following command before proceeding. When you run this command, the local web server starts.
npm run dev-server
To test your add-in in Excel, run the following command in the root directory of your project. This starts the local web server (if it's not already running) and opens Excel with your add-in loaded.
To test your add-in in Excel on a browser, run the following command in the root directory of your project. When you run this command, the local web server will start (if it's not already running).
npm run start:web
To use your add-in, open a new workbook in Excel on the web and then sideload your add-in by following the instructions in Sideload Office Add-ins in Office on the web.
In Excel, choose the Home tab, and then choose the Show Taskpane button in the ribbon to open the add-in task pane.
Select any range of cells in the worksheet.
At the bottom of the task pane, choose the Run link to set the color of the selected range to yellow.
Congratulations, you've successfully created an Excel task pane add-in! Next, learn more about the capabilities of an Excel add-in and build a more complex add-in by following along with the Excel add-in tutorial.