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.

172 comments so far:

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  1. Thanks for lesson, but first one is so short, I hope, next lessons will be long duration and more complex, won’t be? 🙂

    Reply
    • Yes – more is on the way!

      Reply
  2. It’s good

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  3. Great course!

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  4. good great!!

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  5. Spot on!

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  6. Developer tab does not contain addin region. I use msoffice 2007

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  7. thanks good lecture

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  8. Great job

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  9. good

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  10. Am so eager to continue…

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  11. Thanks

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  12. learnt first chapter very good

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

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

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

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

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

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  18. Very easy to follow.

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  19. 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
  20. Good start. assumed zero knowledge.

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  21. Keep going!

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  22. pleasant start pl continue

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  23. 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
  24. Really need to improve knowledge in using Excel

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  25. Thank you

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  26. Thank you so very much

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  27. Educative! Thank you!

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

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  29. Thank you very much

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  30. Thanks.. Given tips is useful..!

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

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  32. awesome piece

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  33. very good

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  34. Thanks I have opened the developer tab

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

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

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  37. I have reached the developer tab, thanks

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  38. Thank you

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  39. well understood,thank you

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  40. Ty

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  41. Thank you…

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  42. Thanks a lot

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  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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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  46. Too good

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

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    • Am impressed. Looking forward to lesson 2

      Reply