Create effective Office Store apps and add-ins

Create effective Office Store apps and add-ins

Office and SharePoint Add-ins

Create an effective Office Store listing by creating effective names, descriptions, and logos. Design an effective user experience for ad-supported apps and add-ins.

Last modified: November 04, 2015

Applies to: apps for Office | apps for SharePoint | Office 365 | Office Add-ins | Office Mix add-ins | SharePoint Add-ins

Note Note

The names "apps for Office" and "apps for SharePoint" are changing to "Office Add-ins" and "SharePoint Add-ins". During the transition, the documentation and the UI of some Office and SharePoint products and Visual Studio tools might still use the terms "apps for Office" and "apps for SharePoint". For details, see New name for apps for Office and SharePoint.

In this article
Use a succinct and descriptive app or add-in name
Write compelling descriptions
Create a consistent visual identity for your app or add-in
Create effective ad-supported apps and add-ins
Additional resources

The information and images you submit to the Seller Dashboard with your app or add-in becomes the Office Store listing for it. This information is the first thing prospective users see, and creates their first impression. Make sure that the information you submit — including your name, description, logos, and screenshots — clearly communicates the benefits and functionality that your solution provides.

In general, apply the following when you create your app or add-in name, description, and images:

  • Check the spelling and grammar on your titles and descriptions.

  • Use unique logos for each app or add-in.

  • Include screenshots that show off your UI. Be sure to remove any personal information from your screenshots.

  • If you update your functionality, update your description too.

  • Describe what your solution can do for customers. Answer the question: What problem does this app solve?

  • Avoid marketing speak and buzz words.

  • Use a customer-friendly voice. Be concise and use natural language.

Create a simple and direct add-in name that is no more than 128 characters. Generally speaking, the shorter the name the better, particularly for Outlook add-ins. Remember, how much of your add-in name gets displayed depends in part on how the user sizes the window itself. Include your brand or company name if you believe users will use it to search for your add-in.

Other guidelines to consider when naming your add-in:

  • Use title case. Capitalize the first letter of each word, except articles and prepositions. For example, Apartment Search for Contoso.

  • Use the following naming pattern: Add-in function + for + brand or company name (optional). For example, Small Business Invoicing for Contoso.

  • Don’t include the Microsoft product your app or add-in works with in your title. This will appear on your landing page in the Office Store, and in Office Store search results.

  • Avoid acronyms that might be unfamiliar to potential users.

  • Don’t use all uppercase letters, unless your brand name is all uppercase.

  • Don’t use the words "free" or "sale" or include exclamation points.

Use a consistent add-in name

You specify your add-in name in two places:

Use the same name in both places.

A good description makes your app or add-in stand out. Your short description should entice potential users to learn more. Your long description, which appears on the Office Store landing page, should provide more detail about your app or add-in and its value.

Effective short descriptions

The short description you supply with your submission is the text that is shown to users in Office Store search results. You want it to be original, engaging, and directed at your target audience. Describe your app or add-in and its value to your target customer, in one or two sentences. For example:

Translate your Word document using Bing translation services.

The short description must be 1,000 characters or less.

Effective long descriptions

The long description is displayed on your landing page in the Office Store. It should match the description in your add-in manifest as closely as possible. With a maximum of 4,000 characters, you have room for a more detailed description, including the main features, the problems it solves, and the target audience for your app or add-in. Be sure to include popular search keywords. The search engine will pick these up in search query return sets.

Most users will read between 300 and 500 words. Describe what your app or add-in does for customers. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How does your app or add-in benefit its user?

  • What is special about your app or add-in?

  • What are different ways someone could use your app or add-in?

  • What industries or specialists would use your app or add-in?

You might want to list features to aid readers scanning your description. To create a bulleted list in the Seller Dashboard use the following formatting:

Add-in Features:

[#LI] First add-in feature[/#LI]

[#LI] Second add-in feature[/#LI]

This will render in your Office Store description as:

Add-in Features:

  • First add-in feature

  • Second add-in feature

Your name and description can be powerful tools to draw in potential customers. You also want to present a unified visual identity for your app or add-in. The logo you use is important. Two files represent your logo. To present a consistent logo, both of images should be of the same logo or icon. This way, the user sees the same logo in the Office Store and when the app or add-in is displayed in Office or SharePoint. Be aware that the two images have different formatting requirements.

When you submit Office Add-ins, you specify an image in your manifest file, and upload one with your Seller Dashboard submission.

For SharePoint Add-ins, you include an image in your add-in package, and upload one with your Seller Dashboard submission. These two images have to match for your add-in to validate.

Create an icon for your add-in

For Office Add-ins that you are submitting to the Office Store, you have to link to an image by using the IconUrl element (OfficeApp complexType) (app manifest schema v1.1)in the manifest. This image represents your add-in within an Office application.

The formatting requirements for this image differ depending on the add-in type. The following table lists the requirements for the icon image, by add-in type.

Outlook add-ins

Task pane and content add-ins


Required only for add-ins submitted to the Office Store.

Required only for add-ins submitted to the Office Store.

Accepted formats

.bmp, .gif, .exif, .jpg, .png, and .tiff

.bmp, .gif, .exif, .jpg, .png, and .tiff

Source location

The image specified must be secured with HTTPS.

The image specified does not have to be secured with HTTPS.


For best appearance, make your icon 64 by 64 pixels.

There is no specific size limit, but Outlook will resize the icon to 64x64 if necessary. This might result in a less-than-optimal icon display.

Must be 32 by 32 pixels.

Display location

Exchange Administration Center

Office client interface.

The Insertion dialog, MRU list, or context box.


IconUrl element (OfficeApp complexType) (app manifest schema v1.1) supports culture-specific images in the manifest.

IconUrl element (OfficeApp complexType) (app manifest schema v1.1) supports culture-specific images in the manifest.

For SharePoint Add-ins, you have to include an icon in the add-in’s package. The image must be 96 pixels by 96 pixels. You must also specify this image when you submit your add-in through the Seller Dashboard.

Create a matching logo for use in the Office Store

When you submit your add-in to the Office Store through the Seller Dashboard, you have to submit another image that represents your logo or icon. This image represents the add-in in the Office Store.

The following are the requirements for this image.

Accepted formats

.png, .jpg, .jpeg, or .gif


Image is uploaded via Seller Dashboard, and stored in the Office Store.


Must be 96 by 96 pixels, and less than 250 KB in size.

Display location

Office Store

Additional validation

The image included in your package must match the image that you submit through the Seller Dashboard.

If you're creating ad-supported apps or add-ins, apply the following guidelines:

  • Consider user experience versus revenue. Many businesses do not accept ads and pay for the apps they use. Smaller businesses and individuals might be willing to install ad-supported apps or add-ins.

  • Ads should not obstruct content or functionality. Do not use ads that overlay content, pop up new windows, or push functionality off-screen on a 1024 x 768 px browser window size.

  • Avoid sound- and video-based ads.

  • Differentiate ads from content and functionality. For example:

    • Display small print in the region of the screen that shows the ad.

    • Use a different background color or font style for the ad content.

    • Use special border treatments around the ad.

    • Use a layout placement away from regular content.

  • Do not include ads with inappropriate content. Ads are subject to the same policies that the content in apps and add-ins is.

  • Use a standard size and location for ads.

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