Validate and troubleshoot issues with your manifest

Use these methods to validate and troubleshoot issues in your manifest.

Validate your manifest against the XML schema

To help to make sure that the manifest file that describes your Office Add-in is correct and complete, validate it against the XML Schema Definition (XSD) files. You can use an XML schema validation tool or Visual Studio to validate the manifest.

To use Visual Studio, go to Build > Publish, and choose Perform Validation check.

To use a command-line XML schema validation tool to validate your manifest:

  1. Install tar and libxml, if you haven't already.
  2. Run the following command. Replace XSD_FILE with the path to the manifest XSD file and XML_FILE with the path to the manifest XML file.

    xmllint --noout --schema XSD_FILE XML_FILE

Use runtime logging to debug your add-in manifest

You can use runtime logging to debug your add-in's manifest. This feature can help you identify and fix issues with your manifest that are not detected by XSD schema validation, such as a mismatch between resource IDs. Runtime logging is particularly useful for debugging add-ins that implement add-in commands.

Note: The runtime logging feature is currently available for Office 2016 desktop.

Turn on runtime logging

Important: Runtime Logging affects performance. Turn it on only when you need to debug issues with your add-in manifest.

  1. Make sure that you are running Office 2016 desktop build 16.0.7019 or later.
  2. Add the RuntimeLogging registry key under 'HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Wef\Developer\'.
  3. Set the default value of the key to the full path of the file where you want the log to be written. For an example, see

Note: The directory in which the log file will be written must already exist and you must have write permissions to it.

The following image shows what the registry should look like. Screenshot of the registry editor with a RuntimeLogging registry key

To turn the feature off, remove the RuntimeLogging key from the registry.

Troubleshoot issues with your manifest

To use runtime logging to troubleshoot issues loading an add-in:

  1. Sideload your add-in for testing.

    Note: We recommend that you sideload only the add-in that you are testing to minimize the number of messages in the log file.

  2. If nothing happens and you don't see your add-in (and it's not appearing in the add-ins dialog box), open the log file.
  3. Search the log file for your add-in ID, which you define in your manifest. In the log file, this ID is labeled SolutionId.

In the following example, the log file identifies a control that points to a resource file that doesn't exist. For this example, the fix would be to correct the typo in the manifest or to add the missing resource.

Screenshot of a log file with an entry that specifies a Resource ID that is not found

Known issues with runtime logging

You might see messages in the log file that are confusing or that are classified incorrectly. For example:

  • The message Medium Current host not in add-in's host list followed by Unexpected Parsed manifest targeting different host is incorrectly classified as an error.
  • If you see the message Unexpected Add-in is missing required manifest fields DisplayName and it doesn't contain a SolutionId, the error is most likely not related to the add-in you are debugging.
  • Any Monitorable messages are expected errors from a system point of view. Sometimes they indicate an issue with your manifest, such as a misspelled element that was skipped but didn't cause the manifest to fail.

Additional resources