Docs API Reference

Sideload Office Add-ins for testing

You can install an Office Add-in for testing in an Office client running on Windows by using a shared folder catalog to publish the manifest to a network file share.

Note: To test an Office Add-in in Office Online, see Sideload Office Add-ins in Office Online for testing. To test an add-in on an IPad or Mac, see Sideload Office Add-ins on iPad and Mac for testing. To test an Outlook add-in, see Sideload Outlook add-ins for testing.

Deploy only the manifest file to the shared folder catalog. Deploy the web application itself to a web server and specify the URL in the SourceLocation element of the manifest file.

Important: To help make add-ins that access external data and services more secure, your add-in should use a secure protocol such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to connect to external data and services. You must use HTTPS if your add-in uses add-in commands.

The following video walks you through the process of sideloading your add-in on Office desktop or Office Online.

Share a folder

  1. On the Windows computer where you want to host your add-in, go to the parent folder, or drive letter, of the folder you want to use as your shared folder catalog.

  2. Open the context menu for the folder (right-click) and choose Properties.

  3. Open the Sharing tab.

  4. On the Choose people ... page, add yourself and and anyone else with whom you want to share your add-in. If they are all members of a security group, you can add the group. You will need at least Read/Write permission to the folder.

  5. Choose Share > Done > Close.

Specify the shared folder as a trusted catalog

  1. Open a new document in Excel, Word, or PowerPoint.

  2. Choose the File tab, and then choose Options.

  3. Choose Trust Center, and then choose the Trust Center Settings button.

  4. Choose Trusted Add-in Catalogs.

  5. In the Catalog Url box, enter the full network path to the shared folder catalog, and then choose Add Catalog.

  6. Select the Show in Menu check box, and then choose OK.

  7. Close the Office application so your changes will take effect.

Sideload your add-in

  1. Put the manifest file of any add-in that you are testing in the shared folder catalog.

  2. In Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, select My Add-ins on the Insert tab of the ribbon.

  3. Choose SHARED FOLDER at the top of the Office Add-ins dialog box.

  4. Select the name of the add-in and choose OK to insert the add-in.

Additional resources