Tools on Developer Tab are Unavailable

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2013)

3

Micky noted that when she opens a particular workbook in Excel and displays the Developer tab on the ribbon, some of the tools are disabled (Macros, Visual Basic Editor, Record Macro). She wonders why they are disabled and how she can make them available.

There are any number of reasons why the options would not be available, but they all boil down to security settings for the workbook. For instance, when you first open the workbook, you may be notified that it contains macros and asked if you want to enable them. If you don't enable them, then the security setting on the workbook is set to a high enough level that the macros (and doing anything with the macros) are disabled.

If you weren't asked about enabling macros when you opened the workbook, it could be because of the security level you have set on Excel itself. Check the settings in the Trust Center (display the Excel Options dialog box, click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings) to make sure that you allow macros.

If you prefer, you can display the Developer tab in Excel and then click the Macro Security tool. Excel displays the same Trust Center Settings dialog box mentioned in the previous paragraph. There are four settings for macros; if the "Disable All Macros without Notification" radio button is selected, then the macro capabilities of Excel will be disabled. You'll want to select one of the less stringent settings, probably "Disable All Macros with Notification." When you restart Excel, you'll be asked if you want to enable any macros that may be in the workbook.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6862) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is three more than 8?

2014-09-14 22:34:01

JOSEPH STARL

Why can I not get macros to work on my Microsoft surface


2013-10-22 12:20:23

Aldo

Everyone, this is not an Excel option problem. This is a Microsoft problem. I am experiencing same issues along with many others. An update was issued I believe and it has a bug. I went through several re-installs and repairs and it is has not fixed anything. I have posted comments on Office Community about this. Nothing as of yet as to what they are or going to do.

If you have Office 2007 everything works fine. I re-installed my version, no issues. But Office 2013 or Office 365 ... well big problems are occurring.


2013-10-21 09:10:11

Bryan

This tip is not correct. In Excel 2007 I disabled all macros without notification, and the only thing disabled in the Developer tab was Design mode, which is also initially disabled when I enable macros.

I was able to record, view, and edit macros with macro security set to maximum. The only thing I could not do was excecute one.

The tip says the tools are only disabled when "a particular workbook" is opened. This leads me to believe that there is something wrong with this workbook, not the global macro settings. If it were a global setting, the problem would appear for *every* workbook, not just one.


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