Debug Office Add-ins on a Mac

Because add-ins are developed using HTML and JavaScript, they are designed to work across platforms, but there might be subtle differences in how different browsers render the HTML. This article describes how to debug add-ins running on a Mac.

Debugging with Safari Web Inspector on a Mac

If you have add-in that shows UI in a task pane or in a content add-in, you can debug an Office Add-in using Safari Web Inspector.

To be able to debug Office Add-ins on Mac, you must have Mac OS High Sierra AND Mac Office Version: 16.9.1 (Build 18012504) or later. If you don't have an Office Mac build, you can get one by joining the Office 365 Developer program.

To start, open a terminal and set the OfficeWebAddinDeveloperExtras property for the relevant Office application as follows:

  • defaults write com.microsoft.Word OfficeWebAddinDeveloperExtras -bool true

  • defaults write com.microsoft.Excel OfficeWebAddinDeveloperExtras -bool true

  • defaults write com.microsoft.Powerpoint OfficeWebAddinDeveloperExtras -bool true

  • defaults write com.microsoft.Outlook OfficeWebAddinDeveloperExtras -bool true

Then, open the Office application and sideload your add-in. Right-click the add-in and you should see an Inspect Element option in the context menu. Select that option and it will pop the Inspector, where you can set breakpoints and debug your add-in.

Note

If you're trying to use the inspector and the dialog flickers, update Office to the latest version. If that doesn't resolve the flickering, try the following workaround:

  1. Reduce the size of the dialog.
  2. Choose Inspect Element, which opens in a new window.
  3. Resize the dialog to its original size.
  4. Use the inspector as required.

Clearing the Office application's cache on a Mac

Add-ins are often cached in Office for Mac, for performance reasons. Normally, the cache is cleared by reloading the add-in. If more than one add-in exists in the same document, the process of automatically clearing the cache on reload might not be reliable.

You can clear the cache by using the personality menu of any task pane add-in.

  • Choose the personality menu. Then choose Clear Web Cache.

    Note

    You must run macOS version 10.13.6 or later to see the personality menu.

    Screen shot of clear web cache option on personality menu.

You can also clear the cache manually by deleting the contents of the ~/Library/Containers/com.Microsoft.OsfWebHost/Data/ folder.

Note

If that folder doesn't exist, check for the following folders and if found, delete the contents of the folder:

  • ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.{host}/Data/Library/Caches/ where {host} is the Office host (e.g., Excel)
  • com.microsoft.Office365ServiceV2/Data/Caches/com.microsoft.Office365ServiceV2/