Script Lab, a Microsoft Garage Project

Script

Wouldn’t it be crazy if you could launch Excel, click to open a small code window, and then instantly start writing and executing JavaScript that interacts with your spreadsheet?

Today we released Script Lab, a Microsoft Garage project that lets you do exactly that and a lot more.

Script Lab is a tool for anyone who wants to learn about writing add-ins for Excel, Word, or PowerPoint. The focus is the Office JavaScript API, which is the technology you need for building Office add-ins that run across platforms. Maybe you’re an experienced Office developer and you want to quickly prototype a feature for your add-in. Or maybe you’ve never tried writing code for Office and you just want to play with a sample and tweak it to learn more. Either way, Script Lab is for you.

Script Lab has three main features:

  • Code in a pane beside your spreadsheet. IntelliSense shows suggestions while you type so you can easily discover and use the Office JavaScript objects and methods. And if you don’t want to start from scratch there are plenty of samples preinstalled with Script Lab. Your snippets can use any TypeScript features like the magical async/await and conveniences like arrow functions and template strings. But it’s not only script: your snippets can also use HTML, CSS, and references to external libraries and data on the web. Script Lab uses the Monaco editor, the same tech that powers VS Code, so it’s beautiful and lightweight.
  • Run the code in another pane beside the editor. Execution can include logic, API calls to Office, UI in the pane, and even output to a console. Every time you make a code change you can refresh the editor and run the new version in seconds.
  • Share your snippets through GitHub. If you create a snippet you’d like to share, you can use Script Lab to save it. Then send the link to someone else to try it and tweak it on their computer. The Import feature lets you load other people’s snippets. We think sharing will be especially useful for asking and answering questions about add-ins on Stack Overflow (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/office-js).  

You can install Script Lab right now for free from the Office Store. It works for Excel, Word, and PowerPoint on Office 2013 and later, Office Online, and Office for Mac.

The source code is open to the community at https://github.com/OfficeDev/script-lab. We welcome your contributions to the tool and to our snippets repo. We’re excited to keep building Script Lab with your help!

I’ll flaunt some screenshots to finish off. Here’s a simple selection-coloring example in Excel:

selection-coloring

And here’s image-insertion in Word Online, with the Run pane visible:

iword

Let’s end with PowerPoint for Mac!

PowerPoint

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