Office Add-ins community call -- September 8, 2021

Office Add-ins community call -- September 8, 2021


Call summary

This month’s community call features presentations - Word API updates (preview of Footnote and Comment APIs for citation management and content insertion), Excel API updats (preview Excel v1.14 API - Worksheet Protection Changed event), Mocking Office.js for unit tests (you are invited to provide feedback  around mocking and unit testing with Office.js APIs.) and Community call feedback (live/chat discussion on the merits of this monthly community call). This month’s Community spotlight recognizes MVP Maarten van Stam for his continued contributions. Thank you again! Q&A in chat throughout call. The call was hosted by David Chesnut (Microsoft) | @davidchesnut.

Microsoft Presenters:

  • Ruoying Liang - Senior Program Manager
  • Raymond Lu - Senior Program Manager
  • Igor Ribeiro - Software Engineer
  • David Chesnut - Senior Dev Writer


  • Word API updates - Ruoying Liang, Senior Program Manager (Microsoft) – 1:06
  • Excel API updates - Raymond Lu, Senior Program Manager (Microsoft) – 9:59
  • Mocking Office.js for unit tests - Igor Ribeiro, Software Engineer (Microsoft) – 16:53
  • Community call feedback - David Chesnut, Senior Dev Writer (Microsoft) – 23:18
  • Community spotlight - Maarten van Stam – 46:15
  • Q&A – 47:02


Demo summaries

  • Preview on latest Microsoft Word API updates: Footnote and Comment APIs.  The Footnote API enables users to insert searchable citations with reference marks into documents. Similar to how you add comments to a cell in Excel, the new Comments API allows users to add comments to a specified range, paragraph, table in Word. You can reply to, resolve, view and delete comments. Supports URL and rich text. Beta rollout presently, available on Word on the web (on-line) only.
  • Microsoft Excel v1.14 preview API: Worksheet Protection Changed event.  After a quick review of APIs releasing in Excel v1.14, we looked at the WorksheetProtectionChangedEvent APIs. Previously protected worksheets threw an error when access was attempted. Now add-in status can be controlled in event logic with a new event handler. The edit button will be grayed out when the worksheet is protected and fully visible, and enabled when the worksheet is unprotected.

Q&A (Question & Answers)

Is there a way to “auto push” manifest updates? Updates for add-ins happen as follows.

Line-of-business add-in:  When an admin explicitly uploads a manifest, the add-in requires that the admin upload a new manifest file to support metadata changes. The next time the relevant Office applications start, the add-in will update. The web application can change at any time. Office Store add-in:  When an admin previously selected an add-in from the Office Store, if there is an update available, the next time the relevant Office applications start, the add-in will update. The web application can change at any time. For more information, see Test and deploy Microsoft 365 Apps by partners in the Integrated apps portal. Will the new Word APIs be available for all platforms? These Word API updates will be available in Preview for Word on the web later this month (September 2021). Eventually, they will be available on all platforms. We do not have a specific timeframe to offer. Is the bookmarks API for Word being promoted out of preview? Yes, the bookmarks API will be in GA soon. Are you going to cover inserting new content types for Word? We are considering Equation, and some level of support for Fields. We cannot control the size of icons used in the ribbon in Office Online. It uses the larger icon, when we want to force use of the smaller icon. We currently ask for different sizes for your icons since Office will choose the size based on a variety of factors. The size can vary based on the number of add-ins on the ribbon, screen resolution, whether the user is using the single line ribbon or not, and more. We have some ideas for enabling more control over icon size, but right now this is not on our backlog. I am interested in the best practices for loading a Word document from a base64 encoded string. We have a repository of documents and the content is exposed via a RESTful endpoint. I am currently using getSelection and insertFileFromBase64. Probably the best thing to be aware of is that you can use this method on a variety of objects. For example, you can use Word.Body.InsertFileFromBase64, and Word.Paragraph.InsertFileFromBase64. To see all the objects with this method, type “InsertFileFromBase64” into the search box in the reference section for the Word API.

If you’re looking for more specific guidance, please provide more information on ask on the Microsoft 365 Q&A site, or at using the [office-js] tag. When will we be able to use SPFX to create Office Addins? A couple of years ago, we released a preview for creating Outlook add-ins using the SharePoint Framework. While the feedback on it was positive, it was overshadowed by other feedback on the limitations. As a result, we decided to pause that preview and focus on delivering new scenarios such as online meetings integration, signature support and other event-based add-in scenarios. Unfortunately, we don’t have a plan at this time for when or if we will resume work on the preview.

When running a Word add-in within a Word Form document (i.e. has form controls and document protection), when can we expect support for other types of content controls such as Date, Plain Text, Checkbox, etc.? Other types of content controls are in our backlog. We don’t have an ETA we can share for when these will be available.

Using SSO from a Word add-in in Teams desktop works if the Word file opens from the “Files” position. However, if the same file is opened via “Assignments”, SSO stops working. Additionally in “Assignment”, the dialogue opens a browser from outside Teams desktop (and then there is no communication between the browser and the add-in). How do we get SSO to work in this situation? Currently, SSO is not supported when Teams is the host. You’ll need to catch the error when calling getAccessToken(), which should be a 13012 error, and use a fallback dialog to sign in the user. To see how to set up the fallback dialog, see Create a Node.js Office Add-in that uses single sign-on - Office Add-ins | Microsoft Docs which also uses the Office Add-in Node.js code sample.

You shouldn’t be running into issues opening a fallback dialog. If you’re still having issues with the browser opening in a separate window, can you provide more information at We can follow up and see if we can resolve the issue.

Back in the Office add-ins Community call (March 09, 2021), you revealed that admin-deployed add-ins would be automatically pinned to the ribbon in Outlook on the web starting April 21, 2021. We have many customers who already had deployed our add-in before that date, but would now like to have it auto-pinned. However, in our internal testing and testing done by our customers, re-deployed (remove + add) add-ins are not automatically pinned in Outlook on the web. In addition to lack of auto-pinning, we are naturally not seeing the “nudge” notification. Are we doing something wrong? Our add-in is private and not available via AppSource. Tenants are pure Microsoft 365. Thanks for letting us know about this. It looks like it is probably a product bug. Please help us out and provide information on how to reproduce this bug at That’s where we track any product bugs and we can look into it in more detail.