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How to create nice looking Office Scripts button (3 ways)

Create nice Office Scripts buttons

When Office Scripts were released, there were only two ways to execute a script (1) through the script editor or (2) through Power Automate. Users screamed out for a better way. Microsoft delivered a clickable Office Scripts button that could be added to the face of a worksheet. However, the default button style is a bit ugly. So, wouldn’t it be great to have buttons that looked nice and provided a modern-looking interface?

That’s what we are doing in this post… making nicer-looking Office Script buttons that users will want to interact with.

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How to add an Office Scripts button

We can add a button to the worksheet for any script in our library.

  1. Select the cell in the worksheet where you want to place the button
  2. Navigate to the script we wish to use
  3. Select the 3 dots (more options) menu, then click Add Button.
Add Button to run Office Script

This works for Excel Online and Excel Desktop. A button similar to the following now appears in Excel.

Ugly Office Scripts button

Clicking the button runs the script. Easy!


  • Scripts requiring additional parameters fail if run from a button, as there is no way to pass the parameters to the script. Scripts with parameters can only be used with Power Automate.
  • If a script is renamed, it remains connected to the button. It uses other identifiers to know which script to run. However, the flip-side of this is that we cannot easily re-point a button to another script.
  • Tip: Renaming the buttons using the Name Box makes tracking and manipulating buttons easier.

Formatting the button

The default button style is a little bit ugly. However, since this button is a shape, we can edit it like any other shape.

Right-click the shape, and select Format Shape… from the menu

Right-click - format Shape

This reveals the Format Shape pane to apply different colors, gradients, shadows, bevels, glows, etc.

In the Home menu, we can change fonts, colors, and text sizes.

In the Shape Format contextual ribbon, there are more formatting options. We can even change the shape type, click Format Shape > Edit Shape > Change Shape, then select a suitable shape.

Change the shape style

We have the power to create buttons that look how we want.

Here are a few ideas.

Example images
  • Example 1: Solid fill, no line, shadow, and alternative font
  • Example 2: Formatted to look like a VBA button
  • Example 3: Emojis, gradient fill, and funky font add a bit of pizzazz
  • Example 4: Shape changed to a speech bubble, and glow effect applied
  • Example 5: Save icon used as a Picture Fill, then button line and text removed

These demonstrate how much freedom we have.

Format the button with a script

Using an Office Script, we can format buttons to look however we wish.

For example, start by renaming a default button to MyButton, then run the following script:

function main(workbook: ExcelScript.Workbook) {

  let shpName = "MyShape"
  let shp = workbook.getActiveWorksheet().getShape(shpName)



After running the script, the default button changes to a funky arrow style.

Office Scripts Button changed by a script

TIP: Try to build a library of scripts to apply your favorite button formats.

Using transparent images

What if we want something else that we can’t create using shapes? Then, let’s think about that slightly differently.

How about placing a transparent Office Scripts button over the top of the item? To the user, it appears they are clicking the item, but they are actually clicking a transparent button.

In the example below, Cell B2 contains the IMAGE function, which returns the Excel Off The Grid logo.

IMAGE Function in Excel

We can’t run a script from the IMAGE function, but if we place a transparent button over the top and remove the text and line, it creates a clickable area, which to the user, appears as if they are clicking the logo.

Transparent scripts button placed over the image

NOTE: For this technique to work, we cannot set the button to No Fill; that removes the clickable area. Making the button 100% transparent achieves the effect we need.


We don’t need to settle for the ugly default Office Scripts button. Instead, get creative and build an interface that users will want to interact with.

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About the author

Hey, I’m Mark, and I run Excel Off The Grid.

My parents tell me that at the age of 7 I declared I was going to become a qualified accountant. I was either psychic or had no imagination, as that is exactly what happened. However, it wasn't until I was 35 that my journey really began.

In 2015, I started a new job, for which I was regularly working after 10pm. As a result, I rarely saw my children during the week. So, I started searching for the secrets to automating Excel. I discovered that by building a small number of simple tools, I could combine them together in different ways to automate nearly all my regular tasks. This meant I could work less hours (and I got pay raises!). Today, I teach these techniques to other professionals in our training program so they too can spend less time at work (and more time with their children and doing the things they love).

Do you need help adapting this post to your needs?

I'm guessing the examples in this post don't exactly match your situation. We all use Excel differently, so it's impossible to write a post that will meet everybody's needs. By taking the time to understand the techniques and principles in this post (and elsewhere on this site), you should be able to adapt it to your needs.

But, if you're still struggling you should:

  1. Read other blogs, or watch YouTube videos on the same topic. You will benefit much more by discovering your own solutions.
  2. Ask the 'Excel Ninja' in your office. It's amazing what things other people know.
  3. Ask a question in a forum like Mr Excel, or the Microsoft Answers Community. Remember, the people on these forums are generally giving their time for free. So take care to craft your question, make sure it's clear and concise.  List all the things you've tried, and provide screenshots, code segments and example workbooks.
  4. Use Excel Rescue, who are my consultancy partner. They help by providing solutions to smaller Excel problems.

What next?
Don't go yet, there is plenty more to learn on Excel Off The Grid.  Check out the latest posts:

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