Displaying the Developer Tab
The user interface in the latest versions of Word can be confusing, especially to those who have long used the menu-based interface of earlier versions of Word. The new interface uses a "ribbon" type of interface, visible at the top of the screen. The ribbon is made up of different tabs, each of which contains a collection of related tools. The tabs that are visible often depend on what you are doing in Word at the moment.
One tab that is especially necessary for advanced users is the Developer tab. This tab contains a variety of tools that allow you to "develop" and customize Word. Of particular importance is the fact that the Developer tab contains tools that allow you to create and access macros.
The Developer tab is not contextual in nature; it should always be visible on the ribbon. If it is not visible, that means you have not configured Word to display it. To display the tab, follow these steps if you are using Word 2010 or Word 2013:
- Display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
- At the left side of the dialog box click Customize Ribbon. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. The Customize Ribbon options of the Word Options dialog box.
- At the right side of the dialog box make sure the Developer check box is selected.
- Click on OK.
Follow these steps in Word 2007:
- Click the Office button and then click Word Options. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
- Make sure that Popular is selected at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. The Popular options of the Word Options dialog box.
- Ensure the Show Developer Tab in Ribbon check box is selected.
- Click OK.
The developer tab should now be visible on the ribbon.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6746) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.
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Comments for this tip:
K 24 Aug 2015, 16:55
This helped me a ton! Thanks so much!
awyatt 14 May 2013, 08:15
I corrected the screenshot on May 13, because it was originally wrong. It is correct now. If anyone sees the wrong figures, it is due to a caching issue. In other words, refresh the page, and the correct figures should show.
Shirlene 14 May 2013, 06:40
We must be looking at different versions of Office 2010. My Office 2010 options matches Allen's Figure 1 above. His Figure 2 is clearly from Office 2007. Frankly, I'm confused by both of you saying the screenshots are wrong so I'm going to but out of the conversation altogether.
Mike 13 May 2013, 10:45
No, Shirlene - Andrew is correct. Allen accidentally used the same screenshot for both versions. I have Office 2010 and that's not what the Options dialogue looks like. There is a "Customize Ribbon" button on the left pane that you must click. When you do, you'll see the tabs names, which you can check or uncheck, depending on which tabs you want displayed. By default, the Developer tab is unchecked.
Shirlene Wilkin 13 May 2013, 06:31
Note to Andrew: The box he showed you for Word 2010 is correct, however, he didn't scroll down on the right pane to show the DEVELOPER option that is not checked by default. When the instructions say to CUSTOMIZE THE RIBBON, that means to go to the left pane option by that name. Looking above the right pane you'll see it also says to customize the ribbon.
Andrew 13 May 2013, 04:03
I think you have the wrong screenshot for 2010 - as it says in the instructions you have to Customise the ribbon and then tick the box to display the Developer tab.