I have a _references.js file in my scripts folder which references the following files:

/// <reference path="~/_layouts/15/MicrosoftAjax.js" />
/// <reference path=”~/_layouts/15/init.js” />
/// <reference path=”~/_layouts/15/SP.Core.js” /> 
/// <reference path=”~/_layouts/15/SP.Runtime.js” /> 
/// <reference path=”~/_layouts/15/SP.UI.Dialog.js” /> 
/// <reference path=”~/_layouts/15/SP.js” /> 

But intellisense for the SP namespace never works.

Where are those files supposed to be located? I'm not sure where ~/_layouts points to.

I've checked this location:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\  

I have folders 15 and 16 in there but there are no JS files in either of their Template/Layouts folders.

I'm working on Windows 10, Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 and developing for SharePoint Online

How do I get Intellisense working?

  • 1
    I have spent far too long trying to work this out, the location you are looking at is where the files would be for an on premise installation but as we are developing for SharePoint online we should either be referencing the files from the site or downloading to the project, I cant get intellisence for the SP namespace to work either way, did you figure it out? Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


For SharePoint Online we are most likely not developing on a machine with SharePoint installed so C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\ will not contain the required files, below is the only way I have found to develop with intellisense for SharePoint Online.

Download each of the required below files from the SharePoint Online site:

Url location:

https://<sharepoint online site url>/_layouts/15/<filename>



There are other optional files which you may require, download as necessary (ie. SP.UI.Dialog.js)

Then I added them into my project (I put them in a seperate folder for cleanliness) then I added a link to them in my _references.js file.

/// <reference path="../SharePointReferences/init.js" />
/// <reference path="../SharePointReferences/sp.js" />
/// <reference path="../SharePointReferences/sp.core.js" />
/// <reference path="../SharePointReferences/sp.runtime.js" />
/// <reference path="../SharePointReferences/sp.UI.Dialog.js" />
/// <reference path="../SharePointReferences/sp.debug.js" />

Set the files "Deployment Type" to "NoDeployment" as they exist on the server so we dont directly reference them.

Set up the _references.js file

You will need to also make sure that you have your _references.js file set up in VS properly, mine wasn't initially.

Go to Tools > Options > Text Editor > Javascript > Intellisense > References

Reference Group = Implicit (Web)

Add > "~/Scripts/_references.js"

Now you should get intellisense in your SharePoint Add In project.


The other option is to use TypeScript which has a TS definition file.

  • I had same problem and solve with this solution. best regards!
    – Goshky
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 9:17

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