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Customizing the Excel 2010 user interface

From: Excel 2010: Real-World Projects

Video: Customizing the Excel 2010 user interface

Kirk Hansel, one of the cofounders of Hansel & Petal, asks his assistant Timothy to manage the company's Excel workbooks. Timothy wants to customize the Excel 2010 user interface to suit his workflow. To do that, Timothy will go into backstage view. To move into backstage view, he clicks the File button, which is new in Excel 2010, and then clicks Options. From within the Excel Options dialog box, he can click Customize Ribbon to display the Customize Ribbon page. The first thing Timothy wants to do is create a custom tab named 'document prep' to bring all the controls he uses in document preparation into the same workspace.

Customizing the Excel 2010 user interface

Kirk Hansel, one of the cofounders of Hansel & Petal, asks his assistant Timothy to manage the company's Excel workbooks. Timothy wants to customize the Excel 2010 user interface to suit his workflow. To do that, Timothy will go into backstage view. To move into backstage view, he clicks the File button, which is new in Excel 2010, and then clicks Options. From within the Excel Options dialog box, he can click Customize Ribbon to display the Customize Ribbon page. The first thing Timothy wants to do is create a custom tab named 'document prep' to bring all the controls he uses in document preparation into the same workspace.

To do that, he clicks to the tab within the list and then clicks Rename so that he can change its name. In this case, he'll change it to DocPrep. Now that he's created his custom group, he can start adding controls to it. If he wants to add controls from an existing Ribbon tab, he can do that by clicking the Choose commands from down arrow and selecting All Tabs. If he wants to add the clipboard item from the Home tab, he can display the items on the Home tab, click Clipboard and then click the Add button. When he does, the clipboard appears on his Custom tab document prep.

He can add other elements as well. For example, he can add the Styles group and from the Page Layout tab, he can add Page Setup and Scale to Fit. If he wants to add any items from the File tab, such as printing, he needs to display the File tab separately. To do that, he clicks the list again and clicks File tab. Now he can go down, click Print and he'll add it to his Custom group. When Excel creates a Custom tab, it adds a single custom group to it as well, so that you can add any commands that you need.

So he clicks New Group, clicks Print, clicks Add and the print controls will appear in his new group. If he wants to change the name of that group, he can click New Group, click Rename and then in the Display name box, type a new name. In this case, we'll just call it Printing and Excel changes the name. Now let's suppose that Timothy wants to run Macros from the Ribbon. He can do that, but he needs to add the control separately. First, he'll add the new group and he'll change that group to the name of 'Charting' and then display the Macros that are available within this workbook.

The macro he wants to use is the only one available, ApplyLineStyle, and the Charting group is still available. Clicks Add and the macro appears where it's supposed to. If he wants to give the ApplyLineStyle macro a new icon on the Ribbon, he can. All he needs to do is click it, click Rename and select a new button from the Rename box. He is done changing the ribbon for now, so he can click OK, and the new tab appears here on the Ribbon. When you click it, you see all of the controls that he added.

If he wants to run the ApplyLineStyle macro, all he needs to do is click a Chart and then click the ApplyLineStyle button and Excel runs the Macro, applying the style that he selected. The ability to record chart-related macros wasn't present in Excel 2007, but in Excel 2010, you can record any chart macro that you like and run it from the ribbon. Now let's say that Timothy wants to change the order of the items that he has on his document prep custom tab. For example, he uses the ApplyLineStyle macro a lot less than he uses the other controls, so he can move that to the far right side.

To do that, he goes back into backstage view, clicking File>Options>Customize Ribbon and then in the list of tabs and groups that are present on the Ribbon, he can click the group he wants to move. In this case, it is Charting. Click the down arrow to move it to the bottom of the group, and Excel makes the change. If he wants to hide this Ribbon entirely, he can, once again, customize the Ribbon and clear the check box next to his custom tab. He can also hide any other tabs that are on the Ribbon.

So let's say that he hasn't been using the Add-Ins or Background Removal tabs. If he clears the checkboxes next to them and clicks OK, they go away. Although Timothy would love to have Excel 2010 provide the almost complete control over the user interface he had in Excel 2003, he can work with the improved Ribbon customization capabilities in Excel 2010. The custom DocPrep Ribbon tab he created makes it easier for him to find the controls he needs when he is preparing a document for distribution.

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Excel 2010: Real-World Projects

7 video lessons · 9711 viewers

Curt Frye
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