Bill Detwiler: If you hated Office 2007's new Ribboninterface, you're in luck. With the release of Office 2010, Microsoft has madethe Ribbon a little more flexible.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, I'llshow you three ways to customize the Office 2010 Ribbon.
When Microsoft introduced Office 2007, many long-time Officeusers, myself included, hated the infamous Ribbon. Tools that were quicklyaccessible from the old toolbar interface, were now hidden behind a variety oftabs and drop-down menus.
To make matters worse, you couldn’t customize the newRibbon. You were just stuck with the organization that Microsoft deemed best,unless you had serious programming skills.
Luckily, the developers in Redmond seemed to have gotten themessage, and they've made Office 2010's interface much more flexible.
You can customize the Ribbon by adding your own tabs andrearranging the built-in options. I’ll be using Word in the examples, but theoptions and steps are similar throughout the Office suite.
Our first tip for customizing the Office 2010 interface,involves the Quick Access Toolbar -- that area just above the Ribbon tabs.
This toolbar isn’t technically part of the Ribbon interface,and by adding options to it, you can reclaim almost everything Microsoft removedwhen they went with the Ribbon.
Add options that are hard to find, that you use often, orthat aren’t on the Ribbon interface at all, such as the 2003 Style control seenhere.
To customize the Quick Access Toolbar, click the toolbar'sdrop-down menu and select More Commands. This should open the Word Optionswindow with the Quick Access Toolbar option highlighted in the left column.
From the "Choose commands from:" pick a commandand click the Add button to move it to the Customize Quick Access Toolbar list.Now, click OK to return to Word. The command you chose should now appear on theQuick Access Toolbar.
Now, the Quick Access Toolbar provides easy access to thetools you use most often, but it can become cluttered if you’re not careful.
Adding a custom Ribbon tab to display the features andcommands you use regularly can solve this problem.
To add a custom tab, click the File tab and choose Options.In the left pane, select Customize Ribbon. In the resulting dialog, click theNew Tab button. Then, right-click on New Tab (Custom) in the Main Tabs list.Choose Rename from the shortcut menu and enter a meaningful name for the newtab.
When Word creates the custom tab, it also creates one groupwithin it to get you started. We’ll leave the group in this example set to itsdefault name (New Group), but you can rename yours by following the steps abovefor renaming tabs.
Now you’re ready to add items to your custom tab. From theChoose Commands From list, select an appropriate filter. Select the desired commandfrom the list, click New Group under your new tab, and click Add.
Use the arrows to the right to position the tab within theexisting tabs. And, click OK when you’re done.
You can now click the new tab, for easy access to yourfavorite Word commands.
Just as there are tools you use on a regular basis, thereare probably tools that you never use. And the tabs on which they exist arejust cluttering up the Ribbon. Luckily, removing tabs from the Ribbon is eveneasier than creating custom ones.
Click Options on the File tab and click Customize Ribbon.Right-click the tab in the Main Tabs list to the right and uncheck Show Tab.The offending tab will no longer appear.
If you find out that you actually do need a tool on thehidden tab, just recheck the Show Tab option and it will reappear.
Now, if you're worried that making a lot of changes to theOffice interface will permanently affect the Ribbon's layout. Don't be.
You can easily reset the entire Ribbon interface to it'soriginal settings or just an individual tab.
To perform either action, open the Word Options window,select Customize Ribbon in the left column and click the Reset button in thebottom right corner. You can then choose to reset only the selected ribbon tabor all customizations.
Well that does it for this edition of TR Dojo. Thanks toTechRepublic blogger Susan Harkins, who put this tip together. Check out herarticle, Five tips for customizing the Office 2010 Ribbon, for more even moreway to manipulate the Ribbon. Including instructions on how to export yourcustomizations and share them with your coworkers. I'll link to the article inthe TR Dojo blog.
And as always, for more teachings on YOUR path to becomingan IT Ninja, visit trdojo.techrepublic.com, sign-up for our newsletter, orfollow me on Twitter.
Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.