How to Add the Developer Tab in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding the developer tab in Word is a simple process that enables you to access advanced features like form controls, macro recording, and more. To do this, you just need to customize the ribbon through Word options – and voila, the developer tab will appear! Let’s walk through how to do this step by step.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Add the Developer Tab in Word

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. The Developer Tab in Microsoft Word is a hidden gem that unlocks powerful tools for users who want to delve into the more technical aspects of document creation. These tools include macros, form controls, and XML commands. By following these steps, you’ll be able to access these features and elevate your Word documents to a whole new level.

Step 1: Open Word Options

Click on the ‘File’ tab in the ribbon, then select ‘Options’ at the bottom of the sidebar.

Word Options is the control center for all your Word settings. This is where you can customize your Word experience, including the ribbon and the quick access toolbar.

Step 2: Customize the Ribbon

In the Word Options dialog box, select ‘Customize Ribbon’ on the left-hand side.

This is the section where you’ll be able to see all the tabs that are available in Word, as well as create new tabs and customize existing ones.

Step 3: Check the Developer Checkbox

In the right column of the ‘Customize the Ribbon’ section, find and check the box next to ‘Developer’.

This action will make the Developer tab visible in the ribbon. The tab is not displayed by default because it contains tools that are more advanced and not commonly used by all Word users.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the Developer tab will be added to the ribbon and you’ll have access to all the advanced features it offers. Now you can start creating forms, writing macros, and much more!

Tips on How to Add the Developer Tab in Word

  • Make sure you’re in a Word document when you’re trying to add the Developer tab; the options menu will look different in other Office applications.
  • If you’re using Word on a Mac, the process is slightly different. You need to go to the Word menu, select Preferences, and then Ribbon & Toolbar.
  • Remember that adding the Developer tab gives you access to features that can significantly change your document’s functionality, so proceed with caution.
  • If you find that you don’t use the Developer tab often, you can always remove it by unchecking the box in the Word Options.
  • Explore the options under the Developer tab – there’s a lot you can do, including creating and customizing content controls, writing and running macros, and even working with XML mapping.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Developer tab used for in Word?

The Developer tab is a feature in Microsoft Word that provides access to advanced tools for creating forms, writing macros, and working with XML. It’s especially useful for users who need to automate tasks or create interactive documents.

Can I add the Developer tab in Word Online?

No, currently, the Developer tab is not available in Word Online. It’s only available in the desktop version of Microsoft Word.

Is it safe to use the Developer tab if I don’t know how to code?

Yes, it’s safe. While the Developer tab does offer advanced features, you don’t need to know how to code to use many of them. However, some features like writing macros do require some basic knowledge of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

How do I remove the Developer tab if I no longer need it?

To remove the Developer tab, simply go back into the Word Options, customize the ribbon, and uncheck the Developer checkbox.

Can I customize what is shown in the Developer tab?

Yes, you can customize the Developer tab by adding or removing certain commands to suit your needs. This can be done in the same ‘Customize Ribbon’ section of the Word Options.


  1. Open Word Options by clicking on the ‘File’ tab and selecting ‘Options’.
  2. Select ‘Customize Ribbon’ on the left-hand side of the Word Options dialog box.
  3. Check the box next to ‘Developer’ to add the tab to the ribbon.


Adding the Developer tab in Word may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a simple process that can significantly enhance your document creation experience. Whether you’re looking to automate repetitive tasks with macros, create interactive forms, or delve into XML, the Developer tab is your gateway to these advanced features. By following the straightforward steps outlined in this article, you’ll have the Developer tab at your fingertips in no time.

Word is a powerful tool, and by unlocking its full potential with the Developer tab, you’ll be able to streamline your workflow and produce more sophisticated documents. Remember to explore the features available under the Developer tab and don’t hesitate to customize it to your needs. And if you ever feel like you’re not using the Developer tab to its full potential, you can always remove it just as easily as you added it.

So, are you ready to take your Word documents to the next level? Give it a try, and you might be surprised at how much you can accomplish with the Developer tab in Word.

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