What can you do with the Developer tab?
The Developer tab has four sections – let’s go over them quickly.
First up is the Code section.
In this section, you can use some basic programming to create powerful scripts and actions in Excel.
This is where you can see a list of all your written (or recorded) macros.
Or you can start a macro recording, and control the macro security settings.
But more importantly, you access the Visual Basic editor here – also known as the VB editor.
This is where you write all VBA code, so that’s a pretty important part of the developer tab in Excel.
Next, we have the Add-ins section.
There’s a huge number of Excel add-ins that you can download from the Office Store.
You can find Gantt chart makers, colorizers, data visualization tools, stock market information sets, and more. There’s a mix of free and paid tools available.
Third is the Controls section.
This is where you insert interactive tools and controls to build better Excel systems.
These controls help you work with form controls. Both the Excel Form Controls and the ActiveX Controls turn your spreadsheets into interactive forms.
They’re great for collecting data, sharing information, and generally making it easier to interact with worksheets.
Finally, there’s the XML tab.
Many applications read and produce data in the extensible markup language, also known as XML. This section helps Excel and re-export information in that format.
You can also use XML within Excel to specify some additional information about your data. (To find out more about what Excel can do with XML, check out Microsoft’s Overview of XML in Excel or our tutorial.)
Unless you use other applications that require XML, or you already know a lot about XML tables, you probably won’t be using this tab much.
As you can see, the contents of the Developer tab are rather technical. If you don’t know why you would need any of these tools, you probably don’t need them!
Nonetheless, it’s useful to know how to find them if you do.