1. Macros and the Developer Tab


In this lesson, we get an introduction to the uses of macros and how to enable the developer tab.

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Lesson Goal

Learn about macros and the developer tab.

What are macros?

Word comes packaged with a lot of tools. Many of these can be accessed from the ribbon and most of the more common tools can also be used with convenient keyboard shortcuts.

Macros enable us to create our own buttons or commands in the Quick Access toolbar or our own keyboard shortcuts.

Macros are most often used for repeated actions that are tedious or complex. For example, setting up a document with an official company header can be tedious and it’s something we might find we often have to do.

Using a macro, we can instantly insert our company’s header with the click of a button or with a keyboard shortcut.

What is the Developer tab?

The commands associated with macros can be hard to find for most Word users. This is because they’re contained in the Developer tab which is hidden from the ribbon by default.

To enable it, we have to navigate to the File tab and click Options at the bottom. To the right of the Customize Ribbon section, we can show and hide tabs by checking or unchecking the box next to them. Check the box next to the Developer tab to enable it.

This tab contains more than just macros. We can also find tools on XML mapping, document restriction and Visual Basic.


In this course, we'll cover advanced Word features such as Macros, Add-ins, and Mail Merge.

In this lesson, we'll learn about Macros and the Developer tab.

Any proficient Word user will be familiar with ribbon commands and keyboard shortcuts. Although these commands and shortcuts are very comprehensive, we may find that in some cases, we need a shortcut that doesn't exist. This is where macros can be very helpful.

A macro is a tool that allows us to make our own custom commands and keyboard shortcuts.

Let's open up a document from a pet food delivery company called Fetch Cuisine to demonstrate how to enable and use macros.

This document is a letter to Fetch Cuisine customers informing them of a new product. This letter is lacking a signature at the end, which should include the name of the author, their position in Fetch Cuisine, and their contact info.

This person signs off on a lot of letters to customers, so it will be useful to create a macro that instantly inserts their full signature.

The macros command is located in the Developer tab in the ribbon.

As you may have noticed, the Developer tab isn't currently visible.

Most people don't use the Developer tab, so it's hidden by default.

To show it, we'll have to navigate to the file tab, and then options.

We'll then go the customize ribbon section, check the box next to Developer, and click OK.

The developer tab now appears on the right side of the ribbon. Let's select it.

There are a lot of complex tools here, but most of them won't be covered in this course. We can also see some duplicates of commands that can be found in other tabs. For example, we can access Restrict Editing in the Review tab, and we can find Add-ins in the Insert tab.

For the purposes of this course, we're only concerned with the Macros and Record Macros commands, which can be found in the code group.

Note that the Visual Basic tool also appears in the code group.

Visual Basic is a simple coding language, which can be used to create macros.

This can get quite complex, so we won't be covering Visual Basic code in this course.

Let's stop the lesson here.

In the next lesson, we'll learn how to create macros via the Record Macro command.

Advanced Tools in Word
Macros, Add-ins, and Mail Merge


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