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, including your title, description, and logo. Design an effective user experience for ad-supported apps and add-ins.

Last modified: January 26, 2016

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

In this article
Use a succinct and descriptive title
Write compelling descriptions
Apply guidelines for title and description length
Create a consistent visual identity for your app or add-in
Use screenshots effectively
Use ratings and reviews
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 title, description, logos, and screenshots — clearly communicates the benefits and functionality that your solution provides.

Apply the following when you create your title, description, and images:

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

  • 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.

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

  • Avoid marketing speak and buzz words.

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

Create a simple and direct add-in title. The shorter the title the better. Remember, the length of the title that is displayed can depend on how the user sizes the window. Include your brand or company name if users are likely to use it to search for your add-in.

In your title:

  • Make the purpose or benefits of your add-in clear. Don't rely on your brand to communicate what your add-in does.

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

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

  • Don’t include the Microsoft product name your app or add-in works with. 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.

Screenshot of an Office Store listing with an effective title and description next to one that is less effective

Use a consistent add-in name

You specify your add-in name in two places - be sure to use the same name in both:

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:

  • Put the most important information first.

  • Do not repeat the title.

  • Avoid using jargon or specialized terminology - don't assume that users know what they're looking for.

  • Include keywords that customers might search for.

An image that shows a good short description next to one that relies on the brand name

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. 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.

In your long description, answer the following 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?

Most users will read between 300 and 500 words. The maximum length for long descriptions is 4,000 characters.

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]


Maximum length

Recommended length

Include key message in the...


50 characters

30 characters

First 30 characters

Short description

100 characters

70 characters

First 30 characters

Long description

4,000 characters

300-500 characters

First 300 characters

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 images should be of the same logo or icon. This way, the user sees the same logo in the Office Store and when the add-in is displayed in Office or SharePoint. The two images have different formatting requirements.

Your logo should:

  • Convey how your add-in helps the customer get work done.

  • Use simple imagery. Don't clutter or complicate your image.

  • Communicate the problem that the add-in solves. Don't rely on your company logo for your image.

  • Be 96 x 96 pixels, and less than 250 KBs.

An image that shows a clear logo with an Excel chart next to an unclear Fabrikam logo

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

For SharePoint Add-ins, you include an image in your add-in package, and upload an image 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

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 x 64 pixels.

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

Must be 32 x 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 96x 96 pixels. You must also specify this image when you submit your add-in through the Seller Dashboard.

Make your screenshots rich and informative. Help customers understand how your add-in solves problems and helps them get work done more effectively. In your screenshots:

  • Focus on your add-in. Don't show large areas of empty screen.

  • Show real content rather than an empty document.

  • Use captions and callouts to clarify features.

Note Note

Be sure to remove any personal information from your screenshots that you do not want customers to see.

An image that shows an add-in with callouts next to a blank add-in

Good ratings and reviews lead to better store placement and improved customer perception of your product. Customers also use reviews as a forum to offer feedback and suggestions, particularly if feedback and support options are not available within the app or add-in. Be sure to:

  • Ask customers to rate and review from within your add-in. Make sure that they've had a chance to explore the add-in first, and don't ask for feedback too often.

  • Offer help and support from within your add-in, so customers don't have to leave feedback in Office Store reviews.

An image that shows a request to rate within an add-in next to a request to rate following a tutorial

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 pixel 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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