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Office Add-ins community call-July 11, 2018

The Office Add-ins community call is our quarterly event for developers to connect in real-time with the folks who are building the Office Add-ins platform and JavaScript APIs. During this call, we share updates about new Office JavaScript APIs and provide tips about useful tools, samples, and resources for developing Office Add-ins. Additionally, calls feature technical discussions on specific topics. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and share feedback for upcoming designs.

July’s call featured these topics and presenters:

  • Juan Balmori Labra and Shiyuan Niu discussed the new Excel APIs released with 1.7, such as charts, events, and styles. They also demoed upcoming functionality, including programmatically working with pivot tables and calculation modes.
  •  Keyur Patel gave an overview of custom functions in Excel. We saw examples of user-created functions fetching online stock quotes and translating soccer terms.
  • Aaron Cooke showcased the Office UI Fabric. Developers leverage this toolkit to quickly design consistent user-interfaces for Office Add-ins.
  • Michael Aldridge promoted the Office 365 developer program. Signing up is quick and gives developers access to the latest tools.

Watch the call here.

View the presentation here.

The next Office Add-ins community call is on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. You can download a recurring quarterly calendar invite at https://aka.ms/officeaddinscommunitycall.

We are planning to offer more frequent community calls soon. These will be focused on single topics, allowing presenters to give a deeper explanation and offer more time for focused Q&A.

Q&A

We welcome you to submit questions and topic suggestions in advance of each call by using our short survey form. Here are questions we received during the community call, via IM.

What about on before and on after save events?
We have a long list of event support backlog. The first step is to support the most fundamental scenarios.

Will page layout API support access to read/write to the header and footer (left, center, right) of the page setup?
Yes, the page layout supports read/write access to header and footer on left, center, and right. You have access to all the text formatting capabilities. One gap we have is images cannot be inserted (still not supported in Excel Online). That’s something we want to add in the future.

Are we going to be able to hook into the undo/redo stacks? Our Addin allows users to add multiple data elements onto rows by highlighting the row you want start and then highlights elements in the task pane.  We insert one row for each selected element. The user can then insert empty rows or title rows in the middle of that block of rows. We would like to be able to allow the user to hit undo to remove the excel added rows and then undo a 2nd time to undo our row editions.
We are actively working on the undo/redo stacks. Right now, look at our APIs in Range and onChange event to fulfill the requirements temporarily.

Can we add metadata to a shape?
We are in the early design stages for this. There is some metadata you can add into the shapes or correlate them to settings and custom properties in the workbook. You can do it in a similar way today with Word. You have access to the shape ID and then use the ID to link it to a customXMLPart.

Calculated items and columns in Pivots?
Yes, you can add calculations on columns with the API. As for adding calculated fields to the pivot, the first release will not have that feature, but we are likely to enable that in the future.

Will a refedit control be on the roadmap?
We don’t right now.

When do you think will the store infrastructure be ready to distribute custom functions via the store including centralized deployment?
This will be ready when the feature launches out of developer preview and becomes generally available. Right now, we’re working on and testing that pipeline so they work great for custom functions. We’ll provide more details next month in the follow up call.

Are those E3 [for the developer program] tenants 100% native O365 tenants – the same our customers are using?
Yes.

If you submitted a question that has not been published here, please post it to one of the Office Add-ins feedback channels listed below.

Resources 

From July’s call 

Office Add-ins community call 

Office Add-ins feedback 

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