How-to Customize Ribbon in Microsoft Office 2010 to create custom tabs?

November 9, 2010, By Fouad Bajwa

As explained in the introductory How-to article on the new and enhanced Ribbon feature in Microsoft Office 2010, this how-to focuses on customizing the Ribbon to create custom tabs and group commands that you most frequently use.

Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 provides a working environment to  make working with Office files such as Microsoft Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets and Workbooks, PowerPoint Presentations, Outlook E-mail Messages, and Access databases files/systems as intuitive as possible.

A user is facilitated to work with any Office file and its contents by clicking on various commands in the application in which the document has been opened. Now all Micrsoft Office 2010 applications have an organized set of commands placed on a horizontal bar called the ribbon.

The ribbon is present and appears across the top of each Office2010 application window whether or not there is an active document being worked upon by the user.

Simply said, the ribbon brings to the user a wide band of command buttons at the top of the screen when the File tab or
Home tab is clicked. Within the ribbon, each tab describes a related set of commands that may include but not limited to Insert, Page Layout, Review; thus when the user clicks any command tab, the ribbon immediately transforms to show the buttons that let the user use these commands in various ways such as, they can insert a picture or table and maybe change the page’s orientation while checking spelling.  Some of the ribbon buttons carry menus with lists of related commands bundled in groups and the user can click any option on the menu to use that command.

Users can also organize tabs on the Ribbon to display the commands that are most relevant for each of the task areas in the applications increasing ease of access. Custom Ribbons can be created separately within each Microsoft Office 2010 application keeping all the features you need right where you need them for easy access by grouping the commands.

What can you do with the Ribbon customization features?

The Ribbon customization feature introduces you to a whole new world of custom tab designs that can be shared with others and across the organization. In fact, you can build tabs for different work scenarios and for the way you work with any office application. The following is a basic list of what Ribbon customization can offer you:

  • You can create your own custom tabs and custom groups based on the type of document design and development activities you undertake with office.
  • You can add custom and built-in groups to both custom and built-in tabs while adding commands to custom groups, you can drag and drop in the Options dialog to add and rearrange tabs, groups, and commands empowering you to quickly create custom groups.
  • You can also rename any tab, group, or command as well as change the icon used for any group or command any tab can be hidden without actually deleting it so that it can be reused later and you can remove built-in groups from built-in tabs.
  • If you hate too much clutter on your tabs then by choosing to show only icons without labels for commands in a custom group allows you to fit a number of commands into a single custom group while you still have the option to reset single tabs back in to the default state or resetting all customizations.
  • The most amazing feature is that you can export all customizations in to a file that can be further imported and used on other computers while using administrative policies to restrict customizations to the user interface.
  • You can also implement administrative policies as part of organizational policies to control roaming of customizations allowing user customizations to be available on any network computer upon log on while distribution of customizations can be done to multiple users by using operating scripts.

So all you have to do is:

  1. Launch any Microsoft Office 2010 application and click the “File” tab.
  2. Then click Options > Customize Ribbon (available on the left hand of the screen) > New Tab (the New Tab button is located near the bottom of the dialog box that opens when you click on Customize Ribbon)
  3. The New Tab option lets you choose commands from a list (the list displays commands from a default list of Popular Commands). If you want to explore all the command options available, scroll down.
  4. You can choose the most used commands and add these to a new tab by clicking “Add”.
  5. You can set the position of your commands in the tab by using the “up” and “down” arrows next to the list of tabs. You will first have to select a Command to move it around on your tab, and/or select the tab to position it anywhere on the Ribbon.
  6. In order to rename your newly created tab, select it, click on Rename that appears near the bottom of the dialog box and change the display name and click OK so that all your changes are updated and assembled in to one convenient tab location.
  7. The following image illustrates the steps mentioned:
  8. How-to Customize Ribbon in Microsoft Office 2010 to create custom tabs?

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