The Office team is on a roll; Outlook for iOS supports add-ins with the latest update, now it’s the turn of macOS. This update for Office Insiders on the Fast Ring, however, is not limited to Outlook – it’s for the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well.
Users of Office on Windows and the web have cherished add-ins for quite some time; these little add-ins extend the Office suite’s functionality beyond what Microsoft is capable of; the idea isn’t new, but having these ‘mods’ in a productivity suite as powerful as Office is something of a rarity.
Now, Office for Mac has achieved parity with Office Online and Office on Windows; the macOS suite now has native support for add-ins. The best part? All add-ins that worked on Windows, also work on macOS.
Since add-ins – for now – are only available to Office for Mac Insiders on the Fast Ring, it’s not quite ready for prime-time yet.
Insiders on Build 170124 or higher can install add-ins via the add-in store in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
These add-ins will work just like they do on Windows and Office Online, and can integrate with the Ribbon; however, there are a few issues, as we mentioned.
For firsts, Insiders might receive an “Error loading add-in” prompt while installing add-ins from the Store due to an authentication issue. Microsoft has a fix for this, you can read about that here.
Second, it’s not yet possible to uninstall an add-in from the Ribbon or the customization UI; Insiders must do it from the “My Add-ins” menu.
Additionally, Microsoft has provided some information for developers as there are some macOS-specific add-in commands. You can check those out here.
Whilst the Office Suite on Windows have support add-ins since the beginning of time, the Office UWP apps have been quite behind the curve. Android, iOS, and macOS are not Microsoft platforms, obviously, but they are getting features before Microsoft’s own platform.
UWP is not something that should go to waste; if the UWP platform is incapable of handling add-ins, it should be modified.
Edge can already handle extensions, and the gaming community would great appreciate the presence of mods for games using UWP.