How to Install Apps for Office in Excel 2013

By Greg Harvey

Apps for Office are small programs that run inside various Microsoft Office 2013 programs, including Excel 2013, to extend their functionality. There are apps to help you learn about Excel’s features, look up words in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and even enter dates into your spreadsheet by selecting them on a calendar.

Many of the Apps for Office are available free of charge, whereas others are offered for purchase from the Office Store for a small price. To use any of these apps in Excel 2013, you first need to install them:

  1. Click the Apps for Office button on the Insert tab of the Ribbon.

    The Apps for Office drop-down menu appears with a Recently Used Apps section at the top and a See All link at the bottom. The first time you open this menu, the Recently Use Apps section will be blank.

  2. Click the See All link on the Apps for Office drop-down menu.

    Excel opens the Apps for Office dialog box containing my Apps and Featured Apps links.

  3. Click the Featured Apps link to display a list of all the Editor’s Picks and Recently Added apps available for Excel 2013.

    Excel displays a list of all the Editor’s Picks and Recently Added apps ready to install and use in Excel 2013. Each app in the list is identified by icon, name, its developer, its current user rating, and its price.

  4. To get more information about a particular app in the Editor’s Picks or Recently Added list, click its name or icon in the Insert App dialog box. Otherwise, click the More Apps link to go online and see a complete list of apps.

    If you clicked a particular app in the Editor’s Picks or Recently Added list, your default web browser then opens a page on the Microsoft Office Store’s website that gives you detailed information about the app you selected. If you clicked the More Apps link, your browser opens a page on the Office Store showing all the apps available for Excel 2013.

  5. To install the app, click its Add button.

    If you’re not signed into your Microsoft account when you click Add, your browser takes you to a signin page where you enter your ID and password. When you are already signed into your Microsoft account and click Add to install a free app, your browser takes you to a confirmation web page. After you click Continue, you are told how to insert the newly installed app.

    For apps you must purchase, your browser takes you to a page where you provide your account information. After the purchase is approved, your web browser then takes you to the web page explaining how to insert your newly installed app into Excel.

  6. Click the Close button on your web browser to close it and return to Excel.


Once installed, you can then insert the apps you want to use into the current worksheet. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. If the App s for Office dialog box is not currently open in Excel, open it by selecting Insert→Apps for Office→See All or press Alt+NSAS.

  2. Click the my Apps link in App for Office dialog box.

    Excel displays all the Apps for Office currently installed in Excel 2013.

  3. Click the app you want to use in your worksheet to select it and then click the Insert button or press Enter.

Excel then inserts the app into your current worksheet so that you can start using its features. Some Office apps such as the Merriam-webster Dictionary app and QuickHelp Starter open in task panes docked on the right side of the worksheet window. Others, such as Bing Maps and the Mini Calendar and Date Picker, open as graphic objects that float above the worksheet.

To close Office apps that open in docked task panes, you simply click the pane’s Close button. To close Office apps that open as floating graphic objects, you need to select the graphic and then press the Delete key (don’t worry — doing this only closes the app without uninstalling it).

Note that after you start using various apps in Excel, they’re added to the Recently Used Apps section of the Apps for Office button’s drop-down menu. You can then quickly re-open any closed app that appears on this menu simply by clicking it.

If you don’t see any of your installed apps in the Apps for Office dialog box after clicking the my Apps link, click the Refresh link to refresh the list. Use the Manage my Apps link in this dialog box to keep tabs on all the apps you’ve installed for Office 2013 and SharePoint as well as uninstall any app that you’re no longer using.