How to Access the Developer Tab in Excel

When you open up Excel straight out of the box, not all features are available to you.

There are a bunch of hidden features that can’t be accessed through any of the default tabs in the Excel ribbon.

But there is a tab that is on the ribbon that can be easily enabled, and is useful for many advanced Excel users.

It’s called the Developer tab and depending on your requirements, it might be really helpful for you!

Want more access to hidden Excel features? Try the Hidden Excel Commands You Never Knew About.

What’s included in the Developer tab?

There are a few reasons why you might want to have easy access to the Developer tab in Excel.

Let’s have a look at the most popular ones:

Macros and VBA code

The most popular use of the Developer tab in Excel is for recording/managing macros and for writing Visual Basic (VBA) code.

How to Access the Developer Tab in Excel | ExcelEfficiency.com

Macros are a set of instructions that you perform in Excel that you can save and have repeated for you automatically.

Clicking on the “Record Macro” button tells Microsoft Excel to keep an eye on the actions you make in the program.  When you click the same button again, it will stop recording and save the macro so you can use it later.

Form controls

Form controls in Excel include interactive objects such as checkboxesoption buttons and list boxes.

How to Access the Developer Tab in Excel | ExcelEfficiency.com

Checkboxes in particular are popular if you’re using Excel to create a simple checklist for your colleagues to complete.

Enabling the Developer tab in Excel

If you want easy access to these advanced features, simply follow these steps:

First, open the Excel Options dialog box by clicking on File, then Options in the Excel ribbon:

How to Access the Developer Tab in Excel | ExcelEfficiency.com

Next, click on the “Customise Ribbon” tab on the left to see the detailed options for modifying what appears on the ribbon:

How to Access the Developer Tab in Excel | ExcelEfficiency.com

Then, ensure that the checkbox next to “Developer” on the right side is selected.  This will ensure that the tab appears in your ribbon from now on.

If you want, you can enable/disable other parts of the ribbon here as well!

Finally, click OK to save your changes and go back to working in Excel.

Do you like having Excel set up in exactly the way you like it?  Try working through the 5-Step Excel Option Healthcheck and have Excel work harder for your exact workflow.

All done!

It might take a little digging around in the Excel Options to find it, but once you’ve included the Developer tab you won’t have to worry about it again.

Enjoy having access to all of Excel’s features at your fingertips!

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