Pictures in PowerPoint can be tricky to get to grips with. Choosing the right size has an impact on both the file size of your presentation and the maximum monitor/projection size you can use without degrading quality.
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:
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:
- 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
- Download the supporting DevTabMacPPT script file and save it in this folder*:
- Activate the Mac Developer tab add-in in PowerPoint as follows:
- Start PowerPoint
- Click Tools / PowerPoint Add-ins…
- Click the [+] symbol, browse to the folder where you saved the add-in, select it and click Open
- Click the OK button to finish.
- Depending on your version of macOS, you may be prompted to grant access for PowerPoint to control your computer. This is required for the script file to send keystrokes. If you’re not asked, you need to do this manually in System Preferences / Security & Privacy / Accessibility where you can tick the box next to PowerPoint:
*To access the ~/Library folder in Finder, click the Go button whilst holding the alt key and then click Library. You can then navigate to the required folder and then drag it to the side bar to create a shortcut.
You can now see the brand new Developer tab ‘lite’ in the ribbon:
It’s referred to as ‘lite’ because the controls group that you find on Windows is missing:
This is because ActiveX controls are built on a Windows-only technology and hence Microsoft cannot support this type of control on Office for macOS. You’ll see ‘controls’ in the Excel for macOS developer tab but these are Form Controls and again, ActiveX controls are not available there either.
And there’s more.
You see that row of icons in the top orange title bar on macOS? 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.Leave a comment
Senior technical consultantView Jamie Garroch's profile
How do you make sure the presentations, spreadsheets and documents your create in Microsoft Office are kept in line with your brand? Learn how to create, save and deploy a custom Office theme across PowerPoint, Excel and Word.
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