How to Add the Developer Tab in MS Word

Updated on December 4, 2019
Joshua Crowder profile image

Joshua has work experience in manufacturing, distribution, and aerospace. He received his BBA in accounting from Kent State University.

The Developer Tab

Generally, most people using Microsoft Word do not have access to the developer tab. It's likely they don’t even know it exists nor understand the functions that are hidden behind it. Unlocking these features could advance users' skills.
Generally, most people using Microsoft Word do not have access to the developer tab. It's likely they don’t even know it exists nor understand the functions that are hidden behind it. Unlocking these features could advance users' skills.

Introduction

In Microsoft word the developer tab is not visible by default. To be able to view this tab within a workbook and use its functions, the tab needs to be activated. The beginning of the article serves as a tutorial on how to add the developer tab to Microsoft Word. The second half explains what the developer tab has to offer to you as a Microsoft Word user.

Developer Tab Not Present

The illustration above depicts a Word document that does not have the developer tab enabled. To be able to use the Word developer tools this tab needs to be manually activated to be visible for use.
The illustration above depicts a Word document that does not have the developer tab enabled. To be able to use the Word developer tools this tab needs to be manually activated to be visible for use.

Find Word Options

The first step to adding the developer tab is to click on file, then click on "Options" in the bottom left-hand area of the file menu.

File Options

After clicking on the file button there are an abundance of options to choose from. To get to the Word options where the ribbon options are available, we must choose "Options" which is the last choice in the file menu.
After clicking on the file button there are an abundance of options to choose from. To get to the Word options where the ribbon options are available, we must choose "Options" which is the last choice in the file menu.

Select Customize Ribbon

Now you should be in word options. The next step is to select "Customize Ribbon" from the list of Word Options. Choosing this allows you manipulate how the ribbon is displayed at the top of your Word documents.

Add Developer Tab to Main Tabs

Next, click in the check box beside developer tab in the main tab list and click the Ok button.

Main Tab List

The customized ribbon option allows you to add, remove, rearrange, and create tabs in the Word ribbon section.
The customized ribbon option allows you to add, remove, rearrange, and create tabs in the Word ribbon section.

Find the Developer Tab

The developer tab should display to the right of the view tab by default.

The Developer Tab Displayed

The developer tab has many Excel options that are at your disposal.
The developer tab has many Excel options that are at your disposal.

Within the Developer Tab

Now that the developer tab is available to you. Let's see what we can do with it. This tab offers tools for several different areas:

  • Code
  • Add-ins
  • Controls
  • Mapping
  • Protect
  • Template

Next, let's take a brief look at each of these items.

Code

The section under the developer tab labeled code section allows you to complete several tasks associated with coding. These tasks are related to viewing and editing Visual Basic modules, creating recorded macros, organizing macros, and viewing options related to macros.

The Code Section

The Code area serves as a dashboard for any tasks that need to be completed involving Visual Basic coding within Word.
The Code area serves as a dashboard for any tasks that need to be completed involving Visual Basic coding within Word.

Add-ins

The add-ins section permits access to settings and details that are associated with all Word add-ins. You can see the add-ins that are available and link to the Microsoft store to find more add-ins. Additionally, automation servers can be searched from this area.

The Add-ins Section

Controls

The controls section under the developer tab contains options that relate to content controls for the document as well as tools associated with design.

The Controls Section

Mapping, Protect, and Templates

The last three sections are smaller and broken down here.

Mapping- Permits viewing of XML data within the document and allows the ability to create content controls that are linked to it.

Protect-Protect offer tools to limit how others can view and edit a document. You can prevent format changes, track changes, and allow only commenting to documents.

Templates-Templates allows you to view or change the attached document template as well as manage global templates and add-ins.

Mapping, Protect, and Templates Sections

Show above are the Mapping, Protect, and Templates sections of the developer tab in Microsoft Word.
Show above are the Mapping, Protect, and Templates sections of the developer tab in Microsoft Word.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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    © 2019 Joshua Crowder

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