Customizing the Ribbon –
The Ribbon is Excel’s primary user interface component. It consists of tabs along the
top. When you click a tab, it displays a set of relevant commands, and the commands are
arranged in groups.
Why you may want to customize the Ribbon –
Most users have no need to customize the Ribbon. If you find that you tend to use the
same command over and over, though—and you’re constantly clicking tabs to access these
commands—you might benefit from customizing the Ribbon in such a way that the com-
mands you need are on the same tab.
What can be customized –
You can customize tabs on the Ribbon by
- Adding new custom tabs
- Deleting custom tabs
- Changing the order of the tabs
- Changing the name of tabs
- Hiding built-in tabs
You can customize groups on the Ribbon by
- Adding new custom groups
- Adding commands to custom groups
- Removing commands from custom groups
- Removing groups from tabs
- Moving a group to a different tab
- Changing the order of the groups within a tab
- Changing the name of a group
Those are fairly comprehensive lists of customization options, but there are some actions
that you can’t do:
- Remove built-in tabs (but you can hide them)
- Remove specific commands from built-in groups (but you can remove entire groups)
- Change the order of commands in a built-in group
How to customize the Ribbon –
Customizing the Ribbon is done via the Customize Ribbon panel of the Excel Options dialog
box (see Figure below). The quickest way to display this dialog box is to right-click anywhere
on the Ribbon and choose Customize the Ribbon.
Creating a new tab –
If you’d like to create a new tab, click the New Tab button. Excel creates a tab named New
Tab (Custom) and a new group in the tab named New Group (Custom).
You’ll almost always want to give the tab (and the group) better names. Select the item and
click Rename. Use the Move Up and Move Down arrow buttons on the right to reposition the
new tab, if necessary.
Creating a new group –
To create a new group, select the tab that will hold the new group and click the New Group
button. Excel creates a new group named New Group (Custom). Use the Rename button to
provide a more descriptive name, and use the Move Up and Move Down arrow buttons on
the right to reposition the group within the tab.
Adding commands to a new group –
Adding commands to the Ribbon is similar to adding commands to the Quick Access tool-
bar, which we described earlier in our post. Commands that you add must be placed in a
new group. Here’s the general procedure:
- Use the Choose Commands From drop-down list on the left to display various
groups of commands.
- Select the command in the list box on the left.
- Use the Customize the Ribbon drop-down list on the right to choose a group
of tabs. Main Tabs refers to the tabs that are always visible; Tool Tabs refers to the
contextual tabs that appear when a particular object is selected
- In the list box on the right, select the tab and the group where you want to put
the command. You’ll need to click the plus-sign control to expand the tab name so
that it displays its group names.
- Click the Add button to add the selected command from the left to the selected
group on the right.
To rearrange the order of tabs, groups, or commands, select the item and use the Move Up
and Move Down buttons on the right. Note that you can move a group into a different tab.
Figure below shows a part of a customized Ribbon. In this case, two groups were added to the View tab (to the right of the Macros group): Extra Commands (with three new commands)
and Speech (with five new commands).
Resetting the Ribbon –
To restore all or part of the Ribbon to its default state, right-click any part of the Ribbon
and choose Customize the Ribbon from the shortcut menu. Excel displays the Customize
Ribbon tab of the Excel Options dialog box. Click the Reset button to display two options:
Reset Only Selected Ribbon Tab and Reset All Customizations. If you choose the latter, the
Ribbon will be returned to its default state, and you’ll lose any Quick Access toolbar cus-
tomizations that you made.