Build your first PowerPoint task pane add-in

In this article, you'll walk through the process of building a PowerPoint 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.

Prerequisites

  • Node.js (version 8.0.0 or later)

  • 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
    

    Note

    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

Note

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? PowerPoint

A screenshot of the prompts and answers for the Yeoman generator

After you complete the wizard, the generator creates the project and installs supporting Node components.

Tip

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

Try it out

  1. Navigate to the root folder of the project.

    cd "My Office Add-in"
    
  2. Complete the following steps to start the local web server and sideload your add-in.

    Note

    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.

    Tip

    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 PowerPoint, 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 PowerPoint with your add-in loaded.

      npm start
      
    • To test your add-in in PowerPoint 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 document in PowerPoint on the web and then sideload your add-in by following the instructions in Sideload Office Add-ins in Office on the web.

  3. In PowerPoint, insert a new blank slide, choose the Home tab, and then choose the Show Taskpane button in the ribbon to open the add-in task pane.

    A screenshot of PowerPoint with the Show Taskpane button highlighted

  4. At the bottom of the task pane, choose the Run link to insert the text "Hello World" into the current slide.

    A screenshot of PowerPoint with an image of a dog and the text 'Hello World` displayed on the slide

Next steps

Congratulations, you've successfully created a PowerPoint task pane add-in! Next, learn more about the capabilities of a PowerPoint add-in and build a more complex add-in by following along with the PowerPoint add-in tutorial.