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Customizing the Ribbon bar

From: Excel 2010 New Features

Video: Customizing the Ribbon bar

When the Ribbon bar made its first introduction in the Office 2007 applications, everybody either really liked it or they really hated it, and to tell you the truth, I wasn't so crazy about it myself. People were saying, 'Gee! I knew where all my commands were, everything that I needed to know, but now they took away the menus and the toolbars, I don't know where everything is anymore.' So the good news is that in the 2010 version, and not just Excel but all of the other Office applications, this Ribbon bar is now completely customizable.

Customizing the Ribbon bar

When the Ribbon bar made its first introduction in the Office 2007 applications, everybody either really liked it or they really hated it, and to tell you the truth, I wasn't so crazy about it myself. People were saying, 'Gee! I knew where all my commands were, everything that I needed to know, but now they took away the menus and the toolbars, I don't know where everything is anymore.' So the good news is that in the 2010 version, and not just Excel but all of the other Office applications, this Ribbon bar is now completely customizable.

So I want to show you how to do a couple of neat things with it. The first thing is let's go up to the File menu to go into Backstage view, and down here towards the bottom choose Options, and in our Options dialog box we'll go over here to Customize the Ribbon. Now it's a lot of work to get in here. So I' just going to cancel out for a second, or you could press Escape. A much easier way of going in is whichever of these tabs is selected - it doesn't matter which one - right-click anywhere and from the pop-up menu choose Customize the Ribbon.

And now we are right back. So it's just a much easier way to get in here. First thing is let me just tell you about turning things on and off and rearranging things. Let's say, for example, the View tab is something that you use often, so you can select it and hit that up arrow a bunch of times, and now I have the View tab at the very top. Now I'm just going to move the dialog box out of the way. Notice the View tab hasn't changed just because we haven't clicked OK yet, and this is something also that's changed since the last version. Click OK, and now the View tab is right up there.

We're going to right-click and go back to Ccustomize the Ribbon. Another way to move it is you can simply take it and drag it. So let me drag it down here, just below Page Layout, and hit OK so you can move that here. So there are few ways that you can deal with that. Well, let's say I decide that maybe I don't need the View tab at all. I'm just going to deselect it. Now when I click OK, you see the View tab isn't even there. So let me right-click and go back to Customize, and I'll just turn that back on.

Well, what about that stuff that's in it? I'm just going to close up Formulas and open Home. Well, I want to add something to it. So I'm going to go over here to Popular Commands, click that down arrow, and I'll go here to the Tool Tabs. Let's say some of these Drawing tools are things that I need in there. So I'm going to open up that format. Notice, Home is still selected so I'm going to choose Insert Shapes and Add. Notice that gets added to the bottom. Maybe sizing is something I want, and maybe Headers & Footers a thing I need to use ever so often.

So I'll choose Header & Footer and add that. So I've added these three groups to the bottom. By the way - I'm just going to open one of these - you'll notice that the items in the groups are grayed out. You can't customize that. You cannot change the content of what's in a group; you can only put the groups in or take them out. So I'll click OK, and now you see these three things I've put in. Insert Shapes, Size, and Header & Footer are there, and I will just right-click over here and go to Customize the Ribbon. The same thing like with the tabs. I could take those, and I can move them, or I can use the Up arrow and move them.

So let me click OK. So now I've moved them over here to the left. So that sort of thing is very customizable. So I'm just going to right-click on the Ribbon bar and go back here to Customize. So I'm going to create my own tab here. It will be a list of maybe some of the favorite things that I need to use often. So I'm going to go down here and choose New Tab, and it gives me kind of this default name of New Tab and New Group. So I'm just going to choose that New Tab, choose Rename, and I'll call this Bob's faves.

Click OK. I'm going to go back here to this dropdown. I'll go back here to the Tool Tabs. I like the stuff that's under there. I'll go here back under Drawing tools, let's say Insert Shapes. Now you notice this Bob's faves is selected. So I'll choose Insert Shapes and click Add, and it goes in there. Now if I choose New Group, go here under Size and maybe choose Height, notice that goes in there - Width also while we are it. Let's put that in there. But this New Group isn't much of a name either, so I'm going to choose that Rename, and I'll call this Dimensions.

I'll put a couple of other things in here. I will reselect that Bob's faves, and maybe here under Header & Footer I'll put a couple of things in there, maybe one more. I will go to Options. I'll put one more in here. Notice right now Bob's faves is the second item in this list. So when I click OK, there it is. It's now the second item in the list, and here's all that stuff that I put in it and all of these are the tabs are unaffected. Of course, I could always go right-click and Customize. If I decide that I want Bob's faves down towards bottom, I can take that, and I can drag that here. OK it.

So I could put that really anywhere that I want. So this is really very nice and customizable. Customize the Ribbon again. Well, I could also rename some of the existing tabs. So, for example, Formulas. Maybe I really don't like formulas, or maybe I don't know how to use them. I can take that and rename an existing tab and call this, Formulas I don't understand. If I decide that, oh, here is some stuff under Review and maybe Language, I only do stuff in English, I don't have to worry about French or Spanish or anything. Or maybe I'm not using a tablet here, so I don't need Ink.

So, see I could really ruin this completely. But let's say this is the way that I like it. I don't want somebody else to be able to use my tabs, or maybe I'm doing this on my office computer, and I want to bring this back home and use this on my laptop. So whichever you want to do it is go down here to Import/Export, and I am going to choose Export all customizations, and I'll give this a name. I will delete that. You notice it gives you an extension of exported user interface. I'll call this bob's set of tabs.

Click Save or press Enter. Now let's say I'm now on another computer, and this is maybe my laptop. I can come back in here, go to Import > customization, and there it is, and then I can simply double-click this and import this to my other computer. I'm not actually going to do it now, because it's obviously the same computer, but you see it's a fairly easy thing to do. Now, let's say that I have done all of this, and I decided, gee, I have renamed things, I've removed things, I've really ruined in this; I want to get back to the way Excel was when I first installed it. Really easy to do.

All you have to do is hit this Reset button, choose Reset all customizations. Confirm Yes. That's what I really want to do. When I click OK, now here it is. It's all back to its original state with none of those changes. So that's a really great handy thing, and I do highly recommend that you play around with customizing the Ribbon. So things that you need to use often, you can put them there, literally right at your finger tips.

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Excel 2010 New Features

25 video lessons · 10752 viewers

Bob Flisser
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