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What is ribbon in Excel? MS Excel ribbon explained.

What is ribbon in Excel?

What is a ribbon in Excel?

Ribbon in Excel is a graphical interface at the top of the Excel window that includes almost all commands and functions required for completing a certain task. More specifically, the ribbon is a given name of some tabs divided into groups of buttons with a graphical interface. The ribbon also provides screen tips when we move our mouse pointer over it. Microsoft Excel 2007 version introduced ribbon with other office products, it replaces the traditional menu bar system.

Microsoft Excel ribbon makes our excel work faster and smoother than before due to its graphical interface. A user can easily find all commands and functions in front of the screen. It is easy to customize the ribbon even if it can be hidden and restored by the user.

Today, in this content, you are going to learn all about the ribbon in excel, its features and components of ribbon, how ribbon faster your work in excel as well as how to customize excel ribbon, hide, and restore.

Read More: How to create a drop down list in Excel

Components of ribbon

The ribbon includes tabs labelled Home, Insert, Page Layout, Formulas, Data, Review, View, and Help. When you select a tab a set of groups are displayed below the tab. Each group contains different functions and commands.

For example, all text alignment-related commands are grouped in a single group under the Home tab. The home tab does not only consist of this alignment group only. As with like alignment groups some other groups are included in the Home tab as well.

One more important thing is that the File tab is not included in the ribbon. You can call it a Menu bar as it includes some menus.

ribbon identity

A sample ribbon image of Microsoft Excel is shown above. If your look very carefully you will find that

  • Ribbon Tab: Tabs are located on the top and labelled as Home, Insert, Page Layout, Formulas, Data, Review, View, and Help. [Marked as Number 1 above]
  • Ribbon Group: Home tab consists of some groups like Clipboard, Font, Alignment, Number, Styles, Cells, and Editing.[Marked as 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9]
  • Command Button: Each group contains some command buttons and icons. Icons help to recognize the command easily. Each command button is for a particular action.
  • Dialog launcher: A icon shown in the right-bottom corner of a group is called a dialog launcher. Some groups may not have this launcher. When space is not enough for all commands in a group this launcher is used to extend more commands.

So, there are five basic components of ribbon as I have discussed above. Though it seems a huge number of groups including a large number of commands don’t be afraid. I will discuss them one by one to make it so easy for you. keep continuing reading this content.

Excel ribbon tabs

The standard Excel ribbon tabs contain the following tabs starting from left the right.

  • Home: Generally the Home tab contains those commands that are needed most frequently by a user like cut, copy, format painters, fonts, alignment, formatting, deleting, sorting, etc.

Home tab

  • Insert: Insert tab is generally used for adding different objects in a worksheet like an image, charts, graphs, pivot tables, tables, screenshots, sticker links, etc.

Insert Tab

  • Page Layout: It allows providing onscreen and print-related features like page setup, margin, paper sizes, etc.

Page layout tab

  • Formulas: The tab formula consists of different formulas, defined names, formula auditing, calculations, etc.

formula tab

  • Data: The data tab holds all data-related commands like analyzing, importing outsource data etc. it is the data ribbon in Excel.

Data Tab

  • Review: Spelling check, languages, sheet protection, etc. are the main command buttons under this tab.

Review Tab

  • View: This is all about the view of the user. worksheet views, freezing panes, viewing and arranging multiple windows, etc.

View Tab

  • Help: It allows you to contact Microsoft support, send feedback, suggest a feature, and get quick access to training videos, etc.  Excel 2019 and Office 365 have this tab.Help Tab
  • Developer:  VBA macros, ActiveX and Form controls and XML commands are the main features. You may be surprised not to see this in your tab. it is hidden by default and you have to enable it first.

Developer tab

  • Add-ins: It appears only when you open an older workbook or load an add-in that customizes the toolbars or menu.

Contextual ribbon tabs

All the tabs described above can be seen by default when you open Microsoft excel. Other than this when you select certain items such as a table, chart, shape, or picture few tabs are opened automatically those are called Contextual ribbon tabs, For instance, when you click on an image you will see the Picture Format tab opened automatically which contains all pictures related commands.

Collapse and Expand the ribbon

To maximize the window Microsoft Excel has a fantastic feature to collapse and expand the ribbon. If you do not know the feature you may be surprised and look for it for days.

How to hide the ribbon in Excel

When you are working on a small screen ribbon may take up a large space off your display. In that case, you can minimize your ribbon. On the top-right corner, you can find a small button which allows you to hide the ribbon in Excel.

hide ribbon button

But you have three options regarding hiding the ribbon in excel. You can minimize the ribbon pressing Ctrl+F1 on your keyboard.

hode ribbon tabs

  • Auto-hide ribbons: It hides the ribbon but clicks on the top of the application to expand it again.
  • Show Tabs: This option allows you to show the ribbon tabs only. Clicking on a tab will open each ribbon.
  • Show Tabs and commands: This option allows you to show both ribbon tabs and commands all the time.

How to unhide the ribbon in Excel

It is the third option mentioned above to unhide the ribbon tabs. If you are surprised to see all your commands disappear from Microsoft Excel you can restore the ribbon by pressing Ctrl+F1 on your keyboard. Or you can click on Show Tabs and Commands button.

unhide ribbon

How to customize Excel ribbon?

Though Microsoft Excel distributed all the commands and features available for the users you can personalize and customize the ribbon as you needed.

You need to go to File> Options> Customize Ribbon. You will find each and everything to customize it. But you have a shortcut way to go there, just right-click on the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon. Both will take you to the same place.

customize the ribbon

You will be surprised to know that you can add your own tab, with any commands you choose, change the order of tabs and groups, show, hide, rename tabs, and a lot more as you like.

How to show the Developer tab in Excel

As I have told you before in this content the Developer tab is not shown in the tab at first. The developer tab allows a number of advanced features to the user such as VBA macros, ActiveX and Form controls, XML commands, and more. So, it is essential to show this tab in your Excel.

Right-click on the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon. Under Main Tabs, please select Developer and Click OK to add this to the tabs.

add developer tab

How to show the Draw tab in Excel

Like the Developer tab, the Draw tab is also not shown in the tab by default. Tools like erasers, pens and converters are the basic components of the draw tab. You can add the Draw tab as the same process you followed for the Developer tab.

adding the draw tab

Draw tab

What is the Quick Access Toolbar in Excel?

This toolbar is often neglected. Most of us ignored this toolbar. But if you can use this toolbar in an efficient way it can boost your productivity level. You can customize and personalize this toolbar including your frequently used command buttons.

Quick Access Toolbar

You can set the Quick Access Toolbar both above and below the ribbon. Right-click on the Quick Access Toolbar will show you some options.

option of quick access toolbar

Go to File> Options> Quick Access Toolbar to customize. You can add frequently used commands here to access them in an easy way.

Importance of Excel ribbon

You already know that the Microsoft Excel ribbon contains almost all commands available in excel, most important thing is that all commands are visible with icons. A user can easily find any necessary command in a second. It is easy for a user to search for a command if he forgets where it is listed in the ribbon.

Even a user can build his own tab and includes his frequently used commands altogether. It is the most exciting part of the Microsoft Excel ribbon. Can you imagine you can edit them and customize them as you like?

As you do not need it you can hide it and again when is needed you can unhide it. It increases the work area who have a smaller screen.

Dear viewers, I have given a clear explanation n What is ribbon in Excel and hope that this content will be really helpfull to you. if you have any more queries please comment in below comment box. I will try my best to reply on your comment as soon as possible. Thank you very much for being with us.


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