1. Opening the developer tab

To get started with macros first you need to open the developer tab.

Open the developer tab

Getting the developer tab open

The developer tab is hidden by default in Excel. Unhiding it is easy. You should only need to do it once (e.g. after you install Excel or get a new computer). Your computer should remember that you’ve opened the developer tab and will leave it open from then.

Opening the developer tab

In the newer versions of Excel, find your Excel options (“File” “Options” for Excel 2010 and 2013).

Under “Customize Ribbon”, make sure there is a tick against “Developer” on the right hand side.

From now on your developer tab should stay showing.

If you are unsure how to open the developer tab, please click on the video below to see exactly what you need to do (“File” “Options” will get you started).

An overview of the developer tab

What’s the developer tab all about?

The developer tab gives you access to some extra functionality within Excel. You’ll have to ask Microsoft why it’s hidden by default, but we think the answer’s going to be something like this:

  • Your average Excel user’s not going to need what the developer tab has to offer.
  • The functionality within the developer tab is pretty ‘clunky’. It’s pretty hard to work out what’s going on. Looking at it probably immediately prompts more questions than it answers. If you were to measure “user friendliness” the whole thing may not be Microsoft’s finest moment and that could explain why they’re happy to keep it tucked away from all but the expert users who know how to unveil it.

We’re happy to help you work out what’s going on with the developer tab.

The “code” section of the developer tab

The first “Code” section of the developer tab is what we’re going to be using to record our first ever macro. That’s what we need next.

Other sections of the developer tab

The add-ins section gives you access to some extra functionality in Excel. If you click on “Add-ins” feel free to tick what’s there so you have that available to you – but you’d need to be a very specialist user of Excel to ever need to make use of it.

The controls section of the developer tab can be quite useful. It allows you to draw some extra control boxes or Excel forms which can help you run parts of your models. They can be used, for example, to automate and run your scenarios. We get you started on that here when we cover drop down boxes. If you get familiar with those controls you’ll find them remarkably similar to the choices you have available as you go on and build your own custom macro custom dialog boxes/ user forms – but that’s for later.

The XML section is used by people who are importing extra data into Excel e.g. from outside databases. Talk to your IT department if you think it might be relevant to you but it’s not used by anyone who is doing stand alone financial modelling. Sometimes it’s used by people who need to interface with internal management reporting systems and can’t get away with a straight copy and paste or quick data dump from somewhere else.

What next? Using the developer tab to record your first macro

We know you’re dying to keep going. In the next lesson we’re going to use the first “code” section of the developer tab – we are going to show you how to record a macro.

What’s this financial modelling course material all about?

You are looking at financial modelling course material covering macros.

164 comments so far:

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  1. Great job

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  2. good

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  3. Am so eager to continue…

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  4. Thanks

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  5. learnt first chapter very good

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  6. Thanks a lot for the first lesson i cant wait for the second

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  7. Thanks for good lesson.
    Looking for to receiving next one.

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  8. good session……….waiting for next lesson

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  9. please teach me in the way that I can work anywhere.

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  10. Good start! Hope the second lesson comes soon. 🙂

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  11. Very easy to follow.

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  12. Good start please continue

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    • Bhanu if you are in a hurry for more please make sure you have signed up here: free macros course.

      By the time you get to your second lesson (on recording a macro) you will have the option of electing to get all 20 lessons straight away – all for free.

      Reply
  13. Good start. assumed zero knowledge.

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  14. Keep going!

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  15. pleasant start pl continue

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  16. i want to nkow more about vba

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    • Antonette you’re in the right place! You should make sure you’ve signed up to our free macros course – but you’ve already just taken the first (short but sweet) lesson! There is more to come…

      Reply
  17. Really need to improve knowledge in using Excel

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  18. Thank you

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  19. Thank you so very much

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  20. Educative! Thank you!

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  21. I was already using the developer tab, mainly for Controls, but I look forward to the next module.

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  22. Thank you very much

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  23. Thanks.. Given tips is useful..!

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  24. Thanks very much
    Pls provide next lesson as how to use Developer tab

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  25. awesome piece

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  26. very good

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  27. Thanks I have opened the developer tab

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  28. Thanks it’s easy and I learnt how to open developer tab

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  29. That’s awesome !! Very eager to step into the next lesson.

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  30. I have reached the developer tab, thanks

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  31. Thank you

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  32. well understood,thank you

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  33. Ty

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  34. Thank you…

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  35. Thanks a lot

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  36. This lesson is very basic. A teeny tiny bite. Any chance I can get to more advanced content? Looked for a link at the bottom of my email but couldn’t find one.

    Reply
    • Hi Aruni,

      That link, with immediate access to all email lessons, will be at the bottom of the next/ 2nd email lesson. Please let us know whether there’s anything else you need.

      Regards,

      FTA

      Reply
  37. Neat but… where is the lesson? Or maybe just the showing of the Developer tab was it?

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    • Yes Costi, the first lesson just introduces you to the developer tab. There is more to come!

      Reply
  38. it is nice tutorial. I am some how intermediate learner. if you explain main elements of the developer window, learners will have a good mental map of the training.

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  39. Too good

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  40. Am really impressed. Can’t wait for the next lessons

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    • Am impressed. Looking forward to lesson 2

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  41. Thank you so much i am now eagerly waiting for the next lesson.

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  42. First of all thank you for giving me a chance to learn how excel works.The lesson was quite ok.

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  43. Great start

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  44. Very well. Looking forward to the next lesson. Thanks!

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  45. Thank you very much for the 1st lesson, very easy and very helpful.

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  46. i am very happy that today in my first lesson am able to show developer.thank you very much for enjoyable lesson,lets meet in the next lesson.

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  47. Thanks for modeling 1, where can I start from again?

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  48. Thanks as easy as ABC

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  49. Simple and easy to understand yet so powerful.

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  50. Thank u so much.. it was really gud.. I want to learn more ..

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  51. Thank you for the lesson, Waiting for the next one! TBT

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  52. it is clear, waiting for next lesson….

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  53. Can’t wait to get started

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    • Wonderful site so nice everybody must learn it

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  54. Thank you for teaching

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  55. Thanks for this first lesson. Still have to digest the content but even though, very helpfull and interesting.

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  56. The lesson has been so resourceful and I pray that at the end of this course,I will have acquired all the expertise i need in excel.

    Reply
  57. Thanks for the first lesson. Looking forward to learn more from the rest of the lessons.

    Reply
  58. Well, lets see more, sound good

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  59. I ‘am verry happy to learn this course

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  60. So far so good, cant wait for the next class

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  61. Great lesson there, so far so good. Eagerly waiting for the next lesson.

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  62. well thank you for the first lesson, I like further.

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  63. good

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  64. Very good. Looking forward to next lesson!

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  65. Short but informative. Looking forward to all lessons.

    Hope to learn how to change formula names (I have created) in cells across a worksheet and save the changed worksheet as a new worksheet to record info for a new year. (eg: changing formula names in cells *****P to *****C)

    Reply
    • The next lesson where you record a macro should get you started on this hopefully.

      Reply
  66. Thanks for the first leasson

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  67. Can’t wait for the next lesson…

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  68. I need to learn Functions macro,
    and formulas for multiple worksheets.
    Thanks.

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  69. Thank you for the first lesson, I hope to learn something about VBA

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  70. This is excellent. Those who know only a few functions of Excel will benefit from it.
    Found the developer.

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  71. Great start.

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  72. Thanks. Really i learn which i want

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  73. Tanks Allot

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  74. Let’s get start!

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  75. Thank You So Much.

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  76. It is Good Starting for Me. Thanks

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  77. lets start

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  78. It is interesting to me

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  79. Thanks for the 1st step, what’s next

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  80. Many Thank’s

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  81. very informative. Thanks for first lesson. waiting for further lesson

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  82. Thanks for the first lesson. Hope to get the next one

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  83. Thanks for the first lesson, I hope next lesson will be soon

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    • Training like this and in this manner is just great.

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  84. Thank you very for your training, awaiting for your next module

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  85. Was a good start. Much to learn in the coming days!!!

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  86. thank you for the first lesson. so far so good am waiting another one.

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  87. It is good that everyone should learn at once those who are much familiar with these functions they should go for next lesson but try to teach more in lessons (which is digestive for everyone) and focus on more practical work in lessons

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  88. Thanks a lot. Unfortunately I’m using Excel 2003 and I don’t find where the developer tab is..
    Help me, please.
    Thanks.

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    • There is no developer tab in Excel 2003. To get started in Excel 2003 you will want to go “Tools” > “Macro. The lessons you find here are for the later versions of Excel (2007 and beyond). You may need to look elsewhere because these lessons will be very hard to follow in Excel 2003 – or you could upgrade (even Microsoft has stopped providing support for Excel 2003 now).

      Reply
      • Thanks, I will upgrade my office.

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  89. Thanks for the information. It refreshing learning new ideas, ways of completing tasks each day. Really looking forward to the next up coming lessons.

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  90. I need to learn Functions and formulas, basic table,…
    advanced excel formulas needed for Revenue management work

    please guide me,
    Thank you
    Sahar

    Reply
  91. Thank for all

    we need more information in lesson.

    hazem

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  92. nice, Very Helpful! Thanks a lot.

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  93. Thanks a lot. Good start. Unfortunately I am familiar with that info. Looking forward for the next lesson(s). Even recorded my first macro, but it doesn”t work as I wanted. Never mind – expecting next part.

    Reply
    • Ivan one of our trainers will be in contact to try and see whether we can iron this out for you. It’s usually pretty easy to get started with macros so something must have come off the rails somewhere. One of our trainers will be in touch shortly.

      Reply
    • i am also familiar with the first session. expecting the next session asap

      Reply
      • If you are in a hurry for more you should be able to find a link at the bottom of your next email lesson. That enables you to get all the lessons at once. If you are familiar with the developer tab and the macros section of the developer tab then you may find that you are too advanced for this material. There is a way you can get more quickly though (no cost) – just follow the link at the bottom of the next email lesson coming soon.

        Reply
  94. Good Information.

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    • My program is Bulgarian, meet difficulties with language, but with interest expect the next lessons.

      Reply
  95. Thanks its good and useful

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  96. very curious and excited of everything. Thanks

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  97. wow… Very little to learn on the first lesson, was expecting more. But I think this is best way of learning irrespective of how intelligent one might seem to think themselves as. Thank you

    Reply
  98. Nice but for Lesson 1 very little.

    Reply
    • Don’t worry Kavita there is more coming!

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  99. This is great

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  100. Thanks for the first topic…Looking ahead for the rest to go 🙂

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  101. very useful

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  102. It is Good

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  103. Great! Looking forward for the next lesson….

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  104. wonderful,can’t wait for the second lesson

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  105. so far good

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  106. Very clear and extremely helpful. I have learnt new things I did not know about the developer tab. Thank you

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  107. very useful

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  108. very informative

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  109. Nice course!

    Reply
  110. Excel developer tab finally getting to be meaningful. cant wait for more.

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  111. Very useful information…particularly for the beginners like me…waiting for the 2nd lesson.

    Reply
  112. helpful

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    • So fantastic

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  113. It’s good and useful

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  114. cant wait to learn more… 🙂

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  115. It is cool and helpful.

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    • Really helpful to learn

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  116. nice

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  117. It is very much helpful….

    Reply
  118. Thanks for the first lesson. May be the coming days will be more interesting.

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  119. thanks, first lesson impact alot, looking forward for next lesson and aim to master excel vba

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  120. so far so good

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  121. thanks for the first lesson.
    love it..

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  122. need more info.
    thanks

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    • The next lesson should give you more Ravi

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  123. A good start. Longing to do the next lesson

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  124. can’t wait for the next lesson.

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  125. Good to know!

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  126. VERY EASY START OF VISUAL BASIC
    THANKS TO FTA

    Reply
  127. perfect but very short lesson (Y) waiting for next lesson

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  128. thanking you sir, what next …..

    Reply
  129. Hi,

    Today I have received the Day 1 mail regarding Developer. Very useful.

    Looking forward to receive Day2 lesson.

    Br
    Venkat

    Reply
  130. Good for me

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  131. It was useful for me.

    Reply
  132. nice to here to get started

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  133. Good start up

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  134. It is good

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  135. thank you from your courses the video of excel VBA which you upload it has not voice. please fix it.
    tnx

    Reply
    • Thanks Nazifa. There is no audio on that video. Hopefully you should be able to see the steps that are being taken just via the screenshots. Thanks for your comment. I am hoping that between us we have clarified things for other people who might be expecting sound! Please let us know if you spot other things as you work through the material.

      Reply
  136. Good to know what the sections mean

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  137. It is good

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  138. So far so good

    Reply
    • thank you for the first lesson. so far so good am waiting another one.

      Reply