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.

158 comments so far:

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

    Reply
  2. good session……….waiting for next lesson

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

    Reply
  4. Good start! Hope the second lesson comes soon. :-)

    Reply
  5. Very easy to follow.

    Reply
  6. 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
  7. Good start. assumed zero knowledge.

    Reply
  8. Keep going!

    Reply
  9. pleasant start pl continue

    Reply
  10. i want to nkow more about vba

    Reply
    • 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
  11. Really need to improve knowledge in using Excel

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  12. Thank you

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  13. Thank you so very much

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  14. Educative! Thank you!

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

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  16. Thank you very much

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  17. Thanks.. Given tips is useful..!

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

    Reply
  19. awesome piece

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  20. very good

    Reply
  21. Thanks I have opened the developer tab

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

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

    Reply
  24. I have reached the developer tab, thanks

    Reply
  25. Thank you

    Reply
  26. well understood,thank you

    Reply
  27. Ty

    Reply
  28. Thank you…

    Reply
  29. Thanks a lot

    Reply
  30. 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
  31. Neat but… where is the lesson? Or maybe just the showing of the Developer tab was it?

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

      Reply
  32. 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.

    Reply
  33. Too good

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

    Reply
    • Am impressed. Looking forward to lesson 2

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

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

    Reply
  37. Great start

    Reply
  38. Very well. Looking forward to the next lesson. Thanks!

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

    Reply
  40. 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.

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

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  42. Thanks as easy as ABC

    Reply
  43. Simple and easy to understand yet so powerful.

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

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

    Reply
  46. it is clear, waiting for next lesson….

    Reply
  47. Can’t wait to get started

    Reply
    • Wonderful site so nice everybody must learn it

      Reply
  48. Thank you for teaching

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

    Reply
  50. 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
  51. Thanks for the first lesson. Looking forward to learn more from the rest of the lessons.

    Reply
  52. Well, lets see more, sound good

    Reply
  53. I ‘am verry happy to learn this course

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

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

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

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  57. good

    Reply
  58. Very good. Looking forward to next lesson!

    Reply
  59. 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
  60. Thanks for the first leasson

    Reply
  61. Can’t wait for the next lesson…

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

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

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

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  65. Great start.

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  66. Thanks. Really i learn which i want

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  67. Tanks Allot

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  68. Let’s get start!

    Reply
  69. Thank You So Much.

    Reply
  70. It is Good Starting for Me. Thanks

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  71. lets start

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  72. It is interesting to me

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

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  74. Many Thank’s

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

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

    Reply
  77. 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.

      Reply
  78. Thank you very for your training, awaiting for your next module

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

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

    Reply
  81. 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

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

    Reply
    • 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.

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

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

    please guide me,
    Thank you
    Sahar

    Reply
  85. Thank for all

    we need more information in lesson.

    hazem

    Reply
  86. nice, Very Helpful! Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  87. 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
  88. Good Information.

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

      Reply
  89. Thanks its good and useful

    Reply
  90. very curious and excited of everything. Thanks

    Reply
  91. 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
  92. Nice but for Lesson 1 very little.

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

      Reply
  93. This is great

    Reply
  94. Thanks for the first topic…Looking ahead for the rest to go :)

    Reply
  95. very useful

    Reply
  96. It is Good

    Reply
  97. Great! Looking forward for the next lesson….

    Reply
  98. wonderful,can’t wait for the second lesson

    Reply
  99. so far good

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

    Reply
  101. very useful

    Reply
  102. very informative

    Reply
  103. Nice course!

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

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

    Reply
  106. helpful

    Reply
    • So fantastic

      Reply
  107. It’s good and useful

    Reply
  108. cant wait to learn more… :)

    Reply
  109. It is cool and helpful.

    Reply
    • Really helpful to learn

      Reply
  110. nice

    Reply
  111. It is very much helpful….

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

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

    Reply
  114. so far so good

    Reply
  115. thanks for the first lesson.
    love it..

    Reply
  116. need more info.
    thanks

    Reply
    • The next lesson should give you more Ravi

      Reply
  117. A good start. Longing to do the next lesson

    Reply
  118. can’t wait for the next lesson.

    Reply
  119. Good to know!

    Reply
  120. VERY EASY START OF VISUAL BASIC
    THANKS TO FTA

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

    Reply
  122. thanking you sir, what next …..

    Reply
  123. Hi,

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

    Looking forward to receive Day2 lesson.

    Br
    Venkat

    Reply
  124. Good for me

    Reply
  125. It was useful for me.

    Reply
  126. nice to here to get started

    Reply
  127. Good start up

    Reply
  128. It is good

    Reply
  129. 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
  130. Good to know what the sections mean

    Reply
  131. It is good

    Reply
  132. So far so good

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

      Reply