July 21, 2024

Power Automate: How to install the Flow’s add-in in Excel

I was writing the “For a selected row” Trigger article and noticed that the explanation for installing the add-in in Excel was starting to get long. I always try to put as many screenshots and information as possible, so I thought about breaking things into two separate articles. So we’ll discuss how to install Flow’s add-in in Excel and show you some things that you should keep in mind.

It’s important to say that, depending on your subscription, you may not be able to install it. But at least you’ll know what to ask to your Office 365 administrator.

So let’s look at how to add the Flow’s add-in in Excel.

Check if it’s already installed

Before we proceed, we’ll look at Excel and check if the add-in is indeed installed. To do it, you can go to “My Add-ins.”

Excel's tab containing the "My Add-ins"

Excel will show you the “add-ins” you have installed.

list of Excel's add-ins installed and to install

Your system administrator can pre-approve some add-ins, so please check in the “admin managed” tab if the “Flow for Excel” add-in is there.

list of Excel's add-ins installed or to install approved by the organisation

If you can’t find it there, let’s look for it in the store.

Adding the “add-in.”

Pick the “Get Add-ins,” A new page will show up in your browser.

Excel's get add-ins option in the tab

You’ll be presented with Microsoft’s store, where you can explore other “add-ins” that are useful to you. For example, at this point, Microsoft may ask you to authenticate with a window like this:

Microsoft will present a login window to understand your time of account

Microsoft requires you to understand what type of account you have. We’ll see the impact on this below when we install the “add-in.”

The easiest way to find it is to search for “Flow for Excel.”

search for "Flow for Excel" in Microsoft's Store

Press “Get it now.”

Microsoft Market's Flow for Excel install window

You can also find it in the list like this:

Alternative Microsoft Market's Flow for Excel install window

Regardless of where you find it press “Get it now.” You’ll get the following screen:

Microsoft Market permission prompt.

As in all Microsoft’s services, we need to give permissions to access personal information. In this case, we need to provide information to Flow so that it can return it when a Flow runs.

Please check the “For a selected row” trigger for an example of why we need to provide the permissions, but as a side note, here’s what the trigger returns:

There are two types of variables in Flow for the "for a selected row" trigger in Power Automate

As you can see, the personal information will be returned when the Flow runs.

Now comes the part where you may not continue without administration permissions. So, again, please ask your system administrator to follow the steps, or if you have administration privileges, here are the steps.

The admin part

Depending on the subscription, you can be asked to identify the ” add-in ” people you want to pick the target for the “add-in.”

The first prompt in the administration part of the process. Pick between assign to a single user, the entire organization or specific users/groups

Here you have complete control over where the “add-in” can be added. It’s advantageous only to allow certain people access the “add-in.” It can be because of licensing limitations, cost control, or avoiding incorrect usage and data corruption. Regardless of the reason, you choose to pick multiple people or even the entire organization.

Please note that we’re giving permissions to add. After that each person will need to pick the “add-in” and install it if necessary. It’s a good way not to install stuff in computers that don’t need it

In my case, I’ll pick “Entire Organization,” but you can do what makes sense for you. After that, we need to accept the permissions since Flow will need to access personal information to provide to the Flow.

After the permissions were selected Microsoft prompts for additional permissions for the Microsoft Flow for Excel add-in

It may look strange to accept it again since we did it at the end of the previous section. But in this case, we’re accepting on behalf of people or the whole organization, so the permissions range is quite different.

Now we’re ready to deploy.

Final window in the "Microsoft Flow for Excel" add-in.

It may take a few minutes.

The deployment of the "Microsoft Flow for Excel" add-on is underway.

When it finishes, we’re done with the administration part. Let’s go back to the client part.

Install Flow’s add-in in Excel

Now that the permissions are all done, we can check again in the “add-ins” section.

Get the list of add-ins that the person can install or are approved for their organization

It again’s possible that you don’t see it right away, but press “refresh,” and it will show something like this.

Office Add-ins that can be installed. Now that all configurations are done we can install the Microsoft Flow for Excel.

After installed, you’ll see the following:

The Microsoft Flow for Excel is installed and it's displayed in the menu

And that’s it. We now know how to install Flow’s add-in in Excel.

Testing it

Let’s create a simple Excel file to test.

Simple excel to test the overall process.

Now let’s press the “Flow button,” and you’ll be presented with a new window that prompts you to log in.

Press the Microsoft Flow for Excel in Excel's ribbon and then sign-in with your Microsoft account

Press “login,” and you’ll be presented with the “usual” login window. You’ve already seen this window hundreds of times, so I don’t think I need to explain how to authenticate.

The "usual" sign in" window from Microsoft to enter the email or phone number

After you authenticate; however you get a permissions prompt.

After we pass the authentication process, we're prompted to provide Microsoft Flow for Excel additional permissions to be able to interact with Microsoft Flow.

Remember that Flow will have access to a lot of information, so you need to know what it can do and what kind of information will be propagated. It’s nothing new, but I wanted to give you a heads-up so that you’re not surprised by it.

Finally, the “add-in” will show you the available Flows.

In the Microsoft Flow for Excel tab we'll have the list of Flows that are enabled to run here.

We’ll be using the same Flow as in the “For a selected row” trigger, but here’s what it looks like:

The Flow used for the test. A simple "for a selected row" trigger with a compose with the input as the key to test if the information is provided correctly.

Nothing fancy.

Power Automate’s “add-in” will only display Flows that are in your “My Flows”. If you have them in solutions, they won’t appear as an option.

You’ll see all the Flows that have the “For a selected row” trigger as follows:

Select the row that we want to parse in Flow and pick "run" in the Flow.

Finally, let’s look at our online Flow and see what we got:

Result of the run after we trigger the Flow in Excel using Microsoft Flow for Excel add-in.

Looking good. We got the Flow to run and the selected row ID.

Final thoughts

It looks like some steps because we’re doing a lot of initial configuration, but after this is done once, all users can add it with a couple of clicks.

Again, please explore the “selected row” trigger to check how to take advantage of this “add-in.”

Have a suggestion of your own or disagree with something I said? Leave a comment or interact on Twitter and be sure to check out other Power Automate-related articles here.

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

Manuel Gomes

I have 18 years of experience in automation, project management, and development. In addition to that, I have been writing for this website for over 3 years now, providing readers with valuable insights and information. I hope my expertise allows me to create compelling, informative content that resonates with the audience.

View all posts by Manuel Gomes →

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