Announcing Script Lab improvements

Office Add-ins team

Code, run, share! We love making it easy to develop Office add-ins. Whether you’re an experienced developer or a newbie, we encourage you to dive in, explore, and build with Script Lab, our Microsoft Garage project. We provide seamless access to the Office JavaScript API from inside Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. We’ve been busy working on updates to make your Script Lab experience awesome, and we’d like to highlight a few of the recent changes. You can learn more about Script Lab on our GitHub page.

Let’s explore what’s new.

Trigger Suggest to see your options

Trigger Suggest makes choosing your next function a breeze. Simply right-click or F2, and we’ll list all the options available.

Right-click menu

IntelliSense options shown in the editor

Preview APIs

If you’re wondering what’s next, look no further than our Preview APIs. You can try out these snippet samples before the APIs are released. Edit chart elements that were not available before. Create and update hyperlinks. Modify worksheet viewing. All of these actions have easy API calls in Preview. Keep in mind, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription with the latest updates to take advantage of previews.

Preview APIs shown in the samples list

Here’s the gist of it

Script Lab has always supported sharing snippets via GitHub Gists, but we’ve made several vast improvements.

First of all, when you update a snippet that you’ve previously shared, you will now have the option to update the existing gist (keeping the same gist URL, and avoiding creating multiple copies of the same snippet). In fact, you’ll even be able to view the diffs between your revisions when you view the snippet online on GitHub! We introduced this feature earlier, but it had some issues, and now it’s working flawlessly (as far as we can tell). If it isn’t as flawless as expected, let us know!

Option for “update existing gist”

Viewing the revision history on GitHub”

Likewise, if you’re importing a gist (yours or someone else’s) that you’ve already imported before, there’s a dialog to help you decide whether to get a new copy or switch to the existing one.

Dialog prompting whether to go existing snippet or create a new copy of the snippet

Finally, we’ve built a better trust experience when you’re importing external snippets. You can now safely import and browse someone else’s code in the editor, knowing that before you run the snippet, you will be prompted with a dialog to choose whether or not to trust and run the code.

Dialog prompting whether to trust the externally-imported snippet

Script Lab speaks four languages

With the help of members of the community, we’ve added the ability to switch languages with our first translations in German, Spanish, and Chinese.

Language choice in the “About” menu

There’s more!

Along with all these exciting new features, we’ve incorporated some updates to the Monaco code editor, which addresses several code-editing bug fixes and improvements.  We’re now on their latest 0.10.0 release!

Our team is working hard to make your feature dreams come true: we’re always listening to our community of developers, so please engage with us on GitHub; share your suggestions, tell us what’s broken, and code your heart out! We’re still in the early days of Script Lab and we plan to continue working on it. You can stay up-to-date on GitHub and on Twitter @OfficeDev.

Also, if you’re not an Office Insider already, consider joining to help shape the future of Office. Not only does your feedback go directly to Microsoft product teams, you’ll also get early access to the latest Office releases, including the ability to run Preview APIs.

Happy coding!

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