Configuring a Computer to Develop Office Solutions

To create add-ins and customizations for Microsoft Office, install a supported version of Visual Studio, the .NET Framework, and Microsoft Office.


Supported versions

Visual Studio

  • Visual Studio Professional

  • Visual Studio Premium

  • Visual Studio Ultimate


You must select the Microsoft Office Developer Tools check box during setup.

.NET Framework

  • The .NET Framework 4.5

  • The .NET Framework 4

Microsoft Office

  • Any suite edition of Office 2013 or Office 2010, including Office Professional Plus for Office 365.

  • Any of the following standalone applications:

    • Excel 2013

    • InfoPath 2013

    • Outlook 2013

    • PowerPoint 2013

    • Project 2013

    • Visio 2013

    • Word 2013

    • Excel 2010

    • InfoPath 2010

    • Outlook 2010

    • PowerPoint 2010

    • Project 2010

    • Visio 2010

    • Word 2010

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) must be installed as part of Office.


Click-to-Run versions of Office 2010 applications are not supported.

For detailed installation steps, see How to: Configure a Computer to Develop Office Solutions.

If project templates don’t appear or they don’t work in Visual Studio

If you install a supported version of Visual Studio, the .NET Framework, and Microsoft Office, but Office project templates either don’t appear in the Visual Studio New Project dialog box, or you receive an error when you try to use one, check the following:

  • Ensure that you have the Microsoft Office developer tools installed on your computer.

    Office developer tools are an optional component of Visual Studio, but they are usually installed automatically along with Visual Studio. If you customize the Visual Studio installation by specifying which features to install, make sure that you choose Microsoft Office Developer Tools during setup to install the tools.

    To ensure that these tools are installed, start the Visual Studio setup program, and choose the Modify button. Select the Microsoft Office Developer Tools check box, and then choose the Update button.

  • Ensure that you're not running a version of Office 2010 that was delivered by Click-to-Run. See How to: Verify Whether Outlook Is a Click-to-Run Application on a Computer.

  • Ensure that you’re running only one version of Microsoft Office.

    Visual Studio 2013 won't let you create Office solutions when more than one version of Office (or different versions of individual Office applications, such as Excel 2007 and Excel 2010) are installed side by side on your development computer. To create Office solutions by using the Office developer tools in Visual Studio 2013, install only Office 2010 or Office 2013 on your development computer.

  • Install the primary interop assemblies (PIAs) for Microsoft Office. See How to: Install Office Primary Interop Assemblies.

    You might have to do this if you installed Office on a development computer that didn't have the .NET Framework installed yet, or if you modified Office setup to not install the PIAs.

If you continue to experience problems, see Additional Support for Errors in Office Solutions.

See Also


How to: Configure a Computer to Develop Office Solutions

How to: Install the Visual Studio Tools for Office Runtime Redistributable

How to: Install Office Primary Interop Assemblies


Features Available by Office Application and Project Type

Other Resources

Getting Started (Office Development in Visual Studio)