Building apps for PowerPoint!

Hello app for Office developers! This is Juan Balmori with another post for the apps for Office!

I have to tell you that every time I have presented a session for a technical (or not so technical) audience about apps for Office, there is always at least one person in the room asking this question: “apps for Office are supported in PowerPoint?”, and it was until just a few weeks that I kept telling everybody: “We are planning on adding this capability”, until today that I can share with you that you will be able to create apps for PowerPoint on Office 2013 (RTM).

Before I get to the details, there are two important requirements to play with this: a) The support for PowerPoint is not available on Office 2013 Preview, you will find it available only on Office 2013 (RTM) and b) you want to make sure to be using our latest Office.js library from our CDN location (http://appsforoffice.micrsoft.com/lib/1.0/hosted/office.js ).

That said, for many of you this is a heads up of what is coming, so get ready for it! The good news is that it may be super simple to make you app PowerPoint-ready! If your app uses the following features of Office.js, you just need to make a one-line change on your manifest to make your app be supported in PowerPoint! (see sample below):

a. Basic Document Properties: You can access basic document properties such as url or mode.

b. Read/Write to Active Selections: Support for reading and writing plain text (only coercionType = ‘text’) via the document.getSelectedDataAsync and document.setSelectedDataAsync methods.

c. Getting all the file: PowerPoint supports getting the whole pptx file via the document.getFileAsync (only as compressed format for 100% fidelity). For more information, see the article, How to: Get the whole document from an app for PowerPoint on MSDN.

d. Settings Object: Support for the settings object, get, set, and save settings on the pptx file format!

As I mentioned, if your app is using any of the listed feature areas of Office.js, then it will definitely be supported in PowerPoint. Just ensure that you add the “Presentation” capability on your manifest and redeploy it as shown in the following code example.

<Capabilities>
    <Capability Name="Workbook" />
    <Capability Name="Presentation" />
    <Capability Name="Project" />
    <Capability Name="Document" />
</Capabilities>

Be aware that Visual Studio 2012 (RTM) includes the templates necessary to create apps for PowerPoint.

I am excited about the new app support for PowerPoint. Expect, support for more functional areas of Office.js in the future.

Please comment on what type of apps you would like to build in PowerPoint! The product teams are listening to your suggestions for new features.

Thanks for reading!