If you’ve ever run or written a macro for PowerPoint, Excel or Word on a Windows PC you’ll probably be familiar with the Developer tab. Move over to the Mac and you’ll be able to turn on the Mac Developer tab for both Excel and Word but it simply doesn’t exist for PowerPoint. Until now!

The developer tab allows you to run macros in a file and develop them yourself. On a Windows PC in PowerPoint this tab is not visible by default, you have to go to the customisation settings to turn it on via File / Options / Customize Ribbon. Similarly, to access the developer tab in Excel on a Mac you have to turn it on under Excel / Preferences / View as you can see at the bottom of this window:

Excel Mac Preferences View with focus on 'In Ribbon, Show' the developer tab option is selected.

In the Microsoft 365 Mac version of PowerPoint, there’s no such option. There have been lots of folk requesting that Microsoft bring the Developer tab to PowerPoint but for now, the request has been turned down. So what can we do about it?

Introducing the BrightCarbon Developer tab add-in for PowerPoint Mac

We’ve developed a simplified version of the Mac developer tab seen in Excel that you can download for free. You’ll need to be running the 2016 or Microsoft 365 version of PowerPoint (as there’s no ribbon in PowerPoint 2011).

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the Developer Tab for Mac add-in file and save it in this folder*: (you might need to create the Add-Ins folder yourself)
    ~Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Add-Ins
  2. Download the supporting DevTabMacPPT script file and save it in this folder*:
    ~Library/Application Scripts/com.microsoft.Powerpoint
  3. Activate the Mac Developer tab add-in in PowerPoint as follows:
    1. Start PowerPoint
    2. Click Tools / PowerPoint Add-ins…
      Add-ins window for PowerPoint Mac
    3. Click the [+] symbol, browse to the folder where you saved the add-in, select it and click Open
      Add-ins window for PowerPoint Mac with the Mac developer tab add-in visible.
    4. Click the OK button to finish.

*To access the ~Library folder in Finder, click the Go button whilst holding the alt key and then click Library.

You can now see the brand new Developer tab in the ribbon:

Screenshot of PowerPoint Mac Developer tab with the Quick Access Toolbar above the ribbon

And there’s more. You see that row of icons in the top orange title bar? That’s called the Quick Access Toolbar and we’ve got another free customisation file that you can download here to elevate your presentation creation productivity to new heights. Learn more about our QAT for Mac.

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Written by

Jamie Garroch

Senior technical consultant

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  1. Image of Geetesh Bajaj Geetesh Bajaj says:

    This is very cool, Jamie.

  2. Image of Doug Doug says:

    Once I click on the + sign in Tools/Powerpoint Add-ins there does not seem to be a way to browse to ~Library/Application Scripts/com.microsoft.Powerpoint

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