The Ribbon

Education is not limited to just classrooms. It can be gained anytime, anywhere... - Ravi Ranjan (M.Tech-NIT)

The Ribbon

Introduction

Under the title bar, Microsoft Excel displays a long bar called the Ribbon:

Ribbon

Minimizing the Ribbon

By default, the Ribbon displays completely in the top section of Microsoft Excel under the title bar. One option is to show it the way the main menu appeared in previous versions of Microsoft Excel. To do this:

  • Right-click the Office Button, the Quick Access toolbar, or the Ribbon itself, and click Minimize the Ribbon
  • Click or right-click the button on the right side of the Quick Access toolbar:

This would display the Ribbon like a main menu:

To show the whole Ribbon again:

  • Right-click the Office Button, the Quick Access toolbar, or one of the Ribbon menu items, and click Minimize the Ribbon to remove the check mark on it
  • Click or right-click the button on the right side of the Quick Access toolbar and click Minimize the Ribbon to remove the check mark on it
  • Double-click one of the menu items of the Ribbon

Changing the Location of the Ribbon

By default, the Quick Access toolbar displays on the title bar and the Ribbon displays under it. If you want, you can switch their locations. To do that, right-click the Office Button, the Quick Access toolbar, or the Ribbon, and click Show Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon:

To put them back to the default locations, right-click the Office Button, the Quick Access toolbar, or the Ribbon, and click Show Quick Access Toolbar Above the Ribbon.

The Tabs of the Ribbon

The ribbon is a type of property sheet made of various property pages. Each page is represented with a tab. To access a tab:

  • You can click its label or button, such as Home or Create
  • You can press Alt or F10. This would display the access key of each tab:
     
    Access Keys

    To access a tab, you can press its corresponding letter on the keyboard. For example, when the access keys display, if you press Home, the Home tab would display
  • If your mouse has a wheel, you can position the mouse anywhere on the ribbon, and role the wheel. If you role the wheel down, the next tab on the right side would be selected. If you role the wheel up, the previous tab on the left would be selected. You can keep rolling the wheel until the desired tab is selected

To identify each tab of the Ribbon, we will refer to them by their names.

The Sections of a Tab

Each tab of the ribbon is divided in various sections, each delimited by visible borders of vertical lines on the left and right. Each section displays a title in its bottom side. In our lessons, we will refer to each section by that title. For example, if the title displays Font, we will call that section, "The Font Section".

Some sections of the Ribbon display a button Button. If you see such a button, you can click it. This would open a dialog box or a window.

The Buttons of the Ribbon

Since there are various buttons and sometimes they are unpredictable, to know what a particular button is used for, you can position your mouse on it. A small box would appear to let you know what that particular button is used for; that small box is called a tool tip:

Tool Tip

You can also use context sensitive help in some cases to get information about an item.

You can add a button from a section of the Ribbon to the Quick Access toolbar. To do that, right-click the button on the Ribbon and click Add to Quick Access Toolbar:

Add to Quick Access Toolbar

Remember that, to remove a button from the Quick Access toolbar, right-click it on the Quick Access toolbar and click Remove From Quick Access Toolbar.

The More Buttons of the Ribbon

In some sections of the Ribbon, on the lower-right section, there is a button:

More

That button is used to display an intermediary dialog box for some action. We will see various examples as we move on.

The Size of the Ribbon

When Microsoft Excel is occupying a big area or the whole area of the monitor, most buttons of the Ribbon appear with text. Sometimes you may need to use only part of the screen. That is, you may need to narrow the Microsoft Excel interface. If you do, some of the buttons may display part of their appearance and some would display only an icon. Consider the difference in the following three screenshots:

Buttons

Buttons

Buttons

In this case, when you need to access an object, you can still click it or click its arrow. If the item is supposed to have many objects, a new window may appear and display those objects:

From this:

Reduced Ribbon

To this:

Arrow Button Clicked