Build your first OneNote task pane add-in

In this article, you'll walk through the process of building a OneNote task pane add-in.



If you aren't familiar with Node.js or npm, you should start by setting up your development environment.

  • Node.js (the latest LTS version).

  • The latest version of Yeoman and the Yeoman generator for Office Add-ins. To install these tools globally, run the following command via the command prompt.

    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.

yo office


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: Javascript
  • What do you want to name your add-in? My Office Add-in
  • Which Office client application would you like to support? OneNote

Screenshot showing the prompts and answers for the Yeoman generator in a command line interface.

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.

  • 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.
  • The ./src/taskpane/taskpane.js file contains the Office JavaScript API code that facilitates interaction between the task pane and the Office client application.

Update the code

In your code editor, open the file ./src/taskpane/taskpane.js and add the following code within the run function. This code uses the OneNote JavaScript API to set the page title and add an outline to the body of the page.

try {
    await (context) => {

        // Get the current page.
        var page = context.application.getActivePage();

        // Queue a command to set the page title.
        page.title = "Hello World";

        // Queue a command to add an outline to the page.
        var html = "<p><ol><li>Item #1</li><li>Item #2</li></ol></p>";
        page.addOutline(40, 90, html);

        // Run the queued commands.
        await context.sync();
} catch (error) {
    console.log("Error: " + error);

Try it out

  1. Navigate to the root folder of the project.

    cd "My Office Add-in"
  2. Start the local web server. Run the following command in the root directory of your project.

    npm run dev-server


    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. You may also have to run your command prompt or terminal as an administrator for the changes to be made.

  3. In OneNote on the web, open a notebook and create a new page.

  4. Choose Insert > Office Add-ins to open the Office Add-ins dialog.

    • If you're signed in with your consumer account, select the MY ADD-INS tab, and then choose Upload My Add-in.

    • If you're signed in with your work or education account, select the MY ORGANIZATION tab, and then select Upload My Add-in.

    The following image shows the MY ADD-INS tab for consumer notebooks.

    Screenshot of the Office Add-ins dialog showing the MY ADD-INS tab.

  5. In the Upload Add-in dialog, browse to manifest.xml in your project folder, and then choose Upload.

  6. From the Home tab, choose the Show Taskpane button in the ribbon. The add-in task pane opens in an iFrame next to the OneNote page.

  7. At the bottom of the task pane, choose the Run link to set the page title and add an outline to the body of the page.

    Screenshot showing the add-in built from this walkthrough: Show Taskpane ribbon button and task pane in OneNote.

Next steps

Congratulations, you've successfully created a OneNote task pane add-in! Next, learn more about the core concepts of building OneNote add-ins.

See also