Building an App for Office in 7 minutes

When I speak to developers about building Apps for Office, I’ll often build an end-to-end app from scratch to illustrate the ease in development. I can usually mock up most scenarios in 5-20min. How so quick? Apps for Office leverage standard web technologies like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS, making most web developers an instant Office developer. I've had such success building apps on the fly that I thought I'd use this post to record that demonstration. The app I'll build is called “Rhymes for Word”, a simple task pane app that:

  • Subscribes to selection changes in the Word document
  • Reads text selections from a Word document when they change
  • Queries an online service for rhymes to display in the task pane
  • Allows the user to write a rhyme back into the word document

Although it is silly scenario, it illustrates several key concepts of Office apps. I've listed rhyme service endpoint, you you are welcome to follow along and build your own app.


If you want to build the Rhymes for Word app on your own, you are welcome to use my rhyme service and follow the video OR download the complete solution:

Rhyme Service:

Completed Solution: 

Comments (4)
  1. davemen says:

    This is great. Looking forward to seeing more of these.

  2. Ndot says:

    Well done! I've hesitated looking into the new app model because I didn't want to sit through a lengthy course. Now in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee I've added another tool to my arsenal.

  3. Kourosh says:

    Hi Richard,

    It is amazing, Thanks you for this useful blog.

    Me as a developer do not have problem with building or developing Office Apps but the problem is how to deploy the app in a production environment. specially when the client wants his app in a App Catalog.

  4. SPAdmin says:

    Thanks Microsoft. While I understand your need to make the app model look as super simple and easy to dev against as possible, you once again throw your partners who perform this type of work under the bus. Our customers read posts like this and think we can create anything in minutes or just a few hours, and we have to fight for proper scope because the majority of requests are NOT this simple to develop… But your posts create this false sense of reality in their minds. What you also fail to mention is just how defect-ridden Office 365 is and how it takes a miracle to put any type of enterprise app together built on 365 without having to jump through many hoops because of its shortcomings and issues. While i hope things will get better, there is a long way to go.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content