How To Add Developer Tab In Excel

The Developer tab enhances the power of Excel. This is a hidden menu, and you need to add it to the ribbon. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add developer tab to Excel Ribon.

Excel has always been admired amid versatile professionals. From basic calculations to complex data visualizations, you can do anything and everything in Excel. Using Excel built-in features, you are able to do invoicing, accounting, customer management, product management, school management, order management, inventory management, and tons of other projects. There are several tremendous tools inside Excel that will give you supreme power over your data, like functions, formulas, charts, graphs, import/export, Marge, and many more. Not only this, you can go beyond excel's features and do your own programming using VBA. This is so powerful that you can build custom software using Excel and VBA.

Visual Basic for Application (VBA) is a programming language that is built for Microsoft Excel and other office applications. You can only use VBA with an office application. All the programs in MS Office can communicate and perform enhanced tasks using VBA. This is one of the most powerful tools that are used amid Excel users. 

Whenever you find a repetitive task, you can create a macro using VBA and you can do that job with only one click or keyboard shortcut. If you need something to communicate through different office programs, you can use VBA. Sending email from MS Word or Excel is possible because you can use VBA to communicate with Word & Outlook, or Excel & Outlook, or even use all of them at once to complete a task. All this is possible with the help of VBA. Again, if you need to copy specific data to another worksheet or workbook, you can do that also. The opportunities are endless here. You can start learning VBA.

The funny thing is, all these opportunities start with a single TAB in Excel. It's the Developer Tab. Without this tab, you can do nothing. Most importantly, this tab is hidden in Excel by default. You need to learn to add this tab in Excel.

The Developer tab is a built-in hidden tab of Excel that has important features needed for VBA. Though this tab is mandatory for VBA users, and there are tons of VBA users out there, Excel deems this tab to be hidden. Usually, the tab is only used by advanced users, and basic users don't need it. That's why, to keep the excel interface clean, they keep this tab hidden. Anyway, we are here to open this tab. not to hide it. Over time, the procedure for unhiding this tab has changed, and this is why I will add instructions based on the excel version. So let's learn how to add the developer tab to different Excel versions.

Insert Developer Tab In Excel 2007

Step 1: Open an Excel workbook.

Step 2: In the top left corner, click the Office button.

Step 3: In the lower right corner of the pop-up, click the Excel Options button.

Step 4: Now checkmark "Show Developer Tab in the Ribbon" from the "Popular" Option. Done!

How to Add the Developer Tab to Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 and Office 365

Step 1: Open an Excel workbook.

Step 2: In the top left corner, select the File Menu.

Step 3: Click on the "Options".

Step 4: Click on "Customize Ribbon."

Step 5: Now checkmark "Developer Tab" from the right column. Done!

What do we have inside the Developer Tab?

There are four sections under the developer tab. You can do everything regarding VBA using menus under these sections.  The tools are explained below.

The first menu group is the Code Group. Within this group you'll find five menus. Visual Basic, Macro, Record Macro, Use relative reference and macro security.

Visual Basic: This is the part we need most. You can write VBA code using this editor. Visual Basic for Applications is a very powerful and complicated tool. Understanding this takes a lot of time and practice. If you want to learn VBA, check out our free Excel VBA Programming Course. Check the video to learn about all the tools inside the Visual Basic editor.

Macro: The difference between VBA and Macro is simple. We use VBA to create Macros that can run routines. Now whenever you create a routine, it will be considered a macro. Inside this menu you'll find all the macros you created so far in this workbook. You can run, edit, and delete macros using this menu.

Record Macro: There is a tremendous built-in Excel feature that allows you to create macros automatically. In this menu, you can do that. You can click on the record macro button and do your task on excel. Excel will record your procedure and create a VBA code for you. When you run the code, it will follow the procedure just like you've done when you record it. If you want, you can learn everything on the Macro Recorder. Though the macro recorder is prone to error, it is really helpful for beginners. This can help you a lot while you learn VBA programming. Here is a tremendous example of a macro recorder in action. How to Copy Data From One Worksheet to Another Automatically In Excel. In this video, I've used a macro recorder and with a little bit of tweaking, I've created a tremendous functionality that you can only achieve with VBA.

Use relative reference: To create a successful VBA or macro, you must learn absolute and relative reference. If you press this key, the macro recorder will use relative reference, otherwise it will use absolute reference. Here is everything you need to know about absolute and relative reference.

Macro security: Now macro security is crucial. You need to understand it and also use best practice. If you don't optimize this properly, your computer will be vulnerable. Learn everything about macro security here. 

The second menu group is add-in. There are three menus available here. Add-ins, Excel Add-ins and COM Add-ins. Excel 2007 doesn't have add-ins under the developer tab. Excel 2010 doesn't have an Excel Add-ins menu under this group. The newer versions of Microsoft Excel have all three menus available. The intro to these menus is as follows:

Add-ins: Add-ins are pre-packaged features that can enhance your productivity in Excel. Add-ins are not available. You need to download and install add-ins before using them. Using this menu, you can browse different add-ins from the office store. Always remember, add-ins are risky because if you do not take security measures, hackers can attack using these. Always install add-ins from trusted and reputed sources and learn more about add-in security.

Excel Add-ins: Add-ins which are already available in Excel are found here. Two of the add-ins, named "solver" and "Analysis Toolpak," are already available with Excel. You can add them from here. Also, you can create your own add-ins. But that is a whole new level.

COM Add-ins: COM Add-ins allow users to extend Excel's functionality. These add-ins are different from "Automation Add-ins". These add-ins are typically associated with command button clicks or event completions. can't call COM Add-ins functions from a cell or using a formula. An event must be triggered to run Com Add-ins. Learn more about Com Add-ins here

Then you have the Controls Group. In this menu group, you'll have five menus available. Insert, Design Mode, Properties, View Code and Run Dialog. Here is a brief summary of what they do.

Insert: With this menu, you'll be able to insert different buttons and checkboxes. There are two sets of tools here: from controls and ActiveX controls.

Design Mode: Whenever you insert something from the insert menu, you need design mode. The "design mode" allows you to design your buttons and checkboxes. When your design is done, deactivate the design mode by clicking the design mode menu, and your button or checkbox will start working. The design mode gives you the editing mode for your buttons and other stuff.

Properties: This menu will allow you to view and set the properties of your buttons or macros. There is a lot to understand here. This is a really important feature and needs special attention.

View Code: This is used to view macro code. You can see and edit different macro codes here. You'll also be able to see which code is assigned to which button from this menu.

Run Dialog: This is used to run dialog boxes in Excel. If you create a custom dialog box, you can run it from here.

Finally, you have the XML group. In this group you'll have six menus. Source, Map Properties, Expansion Packs, Refresh Data, Import and Export. Here is how it works:

Source: This is the source of your XML. Upon clicking this, it will open the source dialog box to manage all your XML maps.

Map Properties: From this menu you'll be able to view and modify XML map properties.

Expansion Packs: You can attach expansion packs from this menu. You can also see all the expansion pack lists here.

Refresh Data:  Whenever you need to refresh your XML data, you can do that from here.

Import: This will allow you to open the import dialog box. You'll be able to import the XML file to your workbook from here.

Export: Using this menu, you'll be able to export all your data to an XML file. Remember, you'll need an exportable XML map associated with your workbook in order to export your data.

Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 have an extra menu group here named Modify. This group isn't available in newer versions of Excel. Also, Excel 2007 doesn't have an Add ins menu group in the Developer tab. If you are using these versions, you can use these features to state document information to show in Microsoft Office compatible programs.

How to add the developer tab to Excel 2016, Excel 2019, Office 365, or Microsoft 365 on the Mac Operating System.

Step 1: Open an Excel workbook.

Step 2: Hover your mouse at the top left corner and click on "Excel."

Step 3: Click "Preferences"

Step 4: Click on "View"

Step 5: Under "Ribbon, Show" check mark the Developer Tab.

If you are using older versions like Excel 2011, please follow the below procedure.

How to add the developer tab to Excel 2011 on the Mac Operating System.

Step 1: Open an Excel workbook.

Step 2: Hover your mouse at the top left corner and click on "Excel."

Step 3: Click "Preferences"

Step 4: Click on the ribbon

Step 5: Scroll Down and "Check Mark" the Developer Tab.

Step 6: Click OK, and it's done!

This simple task of adding the developer tab will allow you to unleash Excel super power. With proper knowledge, you can create your very own custom software inside of Excel that will operate seamlessly with different office applications and, of course, the way you want. Thanks a million for reading this far. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Support us, if possible, by becoming a patron.

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