How to Add the Developer Tab to the Ribbon in Microsoft Word and Excel
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The Developer tab in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel provides access to several advanced features, like form controls, macros, and add-ins. Microsoft hides the Developer tab by default. But you can easily enable the tab on the Word ribbon and the Excel ribbon. So let’s first see how to add the Developer tab to the Ribbon.

Then we’ll show you some practical uses of the Developer tab and how you can use them to create more customized Microsoft Office documents.

Add the Developer Tab to the Ribbon in Microsoft Office Applications

The steps for adding the Developer tab to the Microsoft Word ribbon and the Microsoft Excel ribbon are the same. We show Microsoft Word here, but you can follow the same steps for Microsoft Excel.

Go to File > Options. Click Customize Ribbon in the left pane.

Go to File > Options, then click Customize Ribbon in Microsoft Word

Or right-click on the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon.

Right-click on the ribbon in Microsoft Word and select Customize the Ribbon

Make sure Main Tabs is selected in the Customize the Ribbon dropdown list on the right.

Then, check the Developer box in the list.

Click OK to save your change.

Select the Developer check box on the Customize the Ribbon screen on the Word Options dialog box

What Can You Do With the Developer Tab in Microsoft Office Applications?

You can use the Developer tab in Microsoft Office to do things like create a fillable form in Word, create and record macros to automate repetitive tasks, and protect a document from being edited.

Create a Fillable Form Using the Microsoft Word Developer Tab

Control section on the Developer tab in Microsoft Word

You can use Microsoft Word to create forms users can fill out on their computer Make a Fillable Form in Word 2016 & Collect Data the Easy Way Make a Fillable Form in Word 2016 & Collect Data the Easy Way Forms don't have to be ugly. We'll show you how to create an engaging fillable form with Microsoft Word 2016. You'll be done and ready to collect data in no time. Read More . No paper needed. Maybe you want to get feedback about a meeting at your workplace. Or you might want to find out what kind of food people want at an event you’re hosting.

Use the Controls section on the Developer tab in Word to add dropdown lists, check boxes, text boxes, and even building blocks 10 Little-Known Microsoft Office Features You Should Know 10 Little-Known Microsoft Office Features You Should Know Sometimes the littlest of things make the biggest of differences. We uncover overlooked Microsoft Office features and show you how they could improve your workflow. Read More .

Create and Record Macros Using the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel Developer Tab

Code section on the Developer tab in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel

Macros in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel provide an easy way to automate repetitive tasks, saving yourself time. Use the Code section on the Developer tab to record a macro in Word or Excel or write custom macros using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

For example, you can use a macro to send emails from Excel How to Send Emails From an Excel Spreadsheet Using VBA Scripts How to Send Emails From an Excel Spreadsheet Using VBA Scripts Our code template will help you set up automated emails from within Excel using Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) and VBA scripts. Read More or to integrate Excel data into a Word document How to Integrate Excel Data Into a Word Document How to Integrate Excel Data Into a Word Document During your work week, there are probably lots of times that you find yourself copying and pasting information from Excel into Word, or the other way around. This is how people often produce written reports... Read More .

Manage Add-Ins Using the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel Developer Tab

Add-ins section on the Developer tab in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel are both feature-rich programs, but you can add even more features and commands using add-ins.

The buttons in the Add-ins section on the Developer tab allow you to find and install new add-ins 10 Handy Productivity Add-Ins for Microsoft Word 10 Handy Productivity Add-Ins for Microsoft Word Add-ins can completely change your workflow. If you no longer have to leave your document for small tasks, your productivity will soar. Try out these 10 mini apps for Microsoft Word. Read More and manage your add-ins.

Restrict Editing in a Document Using the Microsoft Word Developer Tab

Protect section on the Developer tab in Microsoft Word

The Protect section of the Developer tab in Microsoft Word allows you to restrict editing in Word documents.

When you collaborate on documents, you may want to prevent others from making any changes to the document except for adding comments. You can also allow others to only change certain parts of the document How to Allow Editing of a Restricted Word Document How to Allow Editing of a Restricted Word Document There is a type of protection that lets you permit changes to only certain parts of a Microsoft Word document. Read More .

The Block Authors button is only available when your document is saved in a shared workspace like Microsoft SharePoint.

Work With Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Code Using the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel Developer Tab

Visual Basic on the Developer tab in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a programming language in Microsoft Office programs that allows you to do advanced tasks. For example, you can create macros and advanced forms, display a message box, and respond to an action in a document.

You can learn the basics of programming with VBA The Excel VBA Programming Tutorial for Beginners The Excel VBA Programming Tutorial for Beginners VBA is a Microsoft Office power tool. You can use it to automate tasks with macros, set triggers, and lots more. We'll introduce you to Excel visual basic programming with a simple project. Read More and add your VBA macros to a custom toolbar How to Build a Custom Excel Toolbar of VBA Macros How to Build a Custom Excel Toolbar of VBA Macros Ready to supercharge your Microsoft Excel productivity? A custom toolbar can do just that. We'll show you how to put all your Excel macros within reach. Read More on the Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word Ribbon.

Work With XML Using the Microsoft Excel Developer Tab

XML section on the Developer tab in Microsoft Excel

Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is a markup language that allows you to encode documents in a format readable by machines, but also by humans. XML is a universal format used to create structured documents, especially for the web.

XML is like HTML, but you can create your own customized tags, data structures, and schemas. The file format for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel files is XML.

The XML section on the Developer tab in Microsoft Excel allows you to import XML data from other applications. And you can export data from Excel to other applications.

For more information about what you can do with XML in Excel, see Microsoft’s page, Overview of XML in Excel.

Customizing Microsoft Office Ribbon Tabs Further

You can also customize the ribbon in Microsoft Office programs How to Optimize the Office 2016 Ribbon or Menu Interface How to Optimize the Office 2016 Ribbon or Menu Interface Do you often search for menu items in Microsoft Office? It's time to re-arrange and customize the Ribbon menu for your personal needs. You'll be surprised how flexible and easy it is! Read More by adding commands to existing tabs, adding new tabs, and rearranging tabs and groups on tabs. So if you use the Developer tab often, you can move it to a more convenient position on the ribbon.

Explore more about: Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office 2016, Microsoft Word.

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