Last updated: October 2019
Applicable to: Office 365, 2019, 2016, 2013; Windows 7, 8 & 10 and mac OS operating systems.
Here’s a question we got from a reader:
I am trying to figure out macro development from going through some simple examples written in VBA. I figured out that some of the examples point out to the developer menu in Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook. For some reason, i don’t see that menu item in the Ribbon. Am i missing out something? Is there any specific setting or configuration to make the Developer tab visible?
Thanks for the good question.
As we explained in the past, the simplest way to automate tasks in Microsoft Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Visio, Access and Outlook) is using Macros. Excel, Word and Visio ship a built-in Macro recorder that allows you to capture a specific sequence of actions and re-use them later on.
Recording macros might be good for starters, but most probably you will be using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to write your own custom Macros.
On top of that, popular applications like Outlook and PowerPoint do not offer the macro recorder so you’ll need VBA chops if you want to automate a presentation or a mail message.
The best way to access the VBA developer environment, is the so-called Developer tab. The tab is turned off by default in Microsoft Office, but you can learn how to set it up in a breeze.
Follow along as we setup the macro VBA development in Excel, Word, Outlook and other Office apps:
Microsoft Office for MAC OSX has ships tools for Macro recording and development.
If you are on MAC and would like to go ahead and access your development environment, proceed as following:
Note: Currently (Office 365), Outlook for macOS still doesn’t support Macro development.