The Ribbon

When the “Ribbon” was introduced in the 2007 version, it was cursed by some, praised by others.

Initially, I was among the first group, though after several months of working with Excel 2007, I began to appreciate it.

One thing that did bother me was that you could not customize the Ribbon to your own needs.

However, with the 2010 version, you can do that. At the top of the Ribbon we find the various Ribbon (default) tabs. Depending on the selected tab, we find different groups at the bottom and a group consists of several command buttons.


We have a number of ways to adjust the ribbon.

One way is to choose “Options” in the “Backstage” view and select the “Customize Ribbon” option from the “Options” dialog. A second way is to right click on the ribbon, no matter where, and select “customize the Ribbon” in the drop-down menu. Both ways, the following dialog box will open.

On the left (a), we find all the commands that we can add to the ribbon.

On the right side, we find the structure of the ribbon (b), as it would look at that time.
As you can see, for example, all main tabs (1), the different groups (2) and the various command buttons (3).
To view the contents of a main tab, group or command button, click the plus icon.
To hide this back, click the minus icon (4).

What you should know and remember.

You can not remove a main tab from the ribbon, you can hide it. Just click the checkmark for the main tab (5).


What you should know is that you can only “remove” groups listed under the main tabs and you can only delete items from the main tabs when the “Remove” button (1) is bold.

You can change the default order of the tabs by editing the main tab and selecting the arrow button in the dialog box (2).

You can change the name of a main tab, select the tab and click the “Rename” button (3) below.


Now that we know how to hide a main tab, it’s a small effort to make your own tabs containing your own groups and your own command buttons.

In below example, I hide all the main tabs except for the main tab “Home”. I click the “New Tab” button to add a homemade tab. I called this tab “my tab”…. How original!

Next, I select the newly created tab in the list and click the “New Group” button and give this group the name “my group”. Then I select this group, select the command button(s) I want to add in the list on the left of the dialog box and click the “Add” button.

Next, I click the OK button and this is the result.


Your own ribbon has only two tabs (1). Three command buttons in “My Tab” (2), and only one group, “my group” (3).


If you want to go back later and reset the initial values, click the “Reset” button and select “Reset All Customizations” in the drop-down menu.


You can always remove customized tabs, groups and command buttons in a group.

You've completed Lesson 3