Customizing the Office 2010 Ribbon

| February 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

There is a lot to love about Office 2010 and one of its new features is the ability to customize the Ribbon. This lets you make the Ribbon looks the way you want it to look rather than how Microsoft thinks it should look.

Here, I’ll show you how to get started customizing the Ribbon and show you what you can do in customizing it. I’ll use Word for the examples but you can do this in Excel, PowerPoint, or the other Office 2010 applications.

Get started

The customization options are accessible from the new Backstage view so choose File > Options > Customize Ribbon. Here are the tools for customizing the Ribbon. They include the option to rename any of the Microsoft built in Ribbon Tabs or Group and to add your own Tabs to the Ribbon.

You can also add new groups to any Tabs – yours or those which were built-in and rearrange items in existing Tabs if you don’t like how they’re arranged.

customizing ribbon tabs

Add a new Tab

To add a new Tab to the ribbon, click the New Tab button then right click the New Tab, choose Rename and type a name for it. Right click the New Group that has been created automatically for you, click Rename and type a name for this – you can only put items on a tab if they are located in a group. Select an icon to use for the group and click Ok.

adding tabs

To add commands to your new group, select a command in the panel on the right and, with your new group selected, click Add. Continue to add commands to your new group as desired. You can also add additional groups by selecting your new Tab, click New Group, rename it and then add commands to it too.

adding commands

Share your customizations

In addition you can import and export the customizations that you’ve made to the Ribbon. This lets you share your customizations with others – this will be useful at work if you have tools, macros or templates that you use all the time. You could add these to the Ribbon to have easier access to them and use the exported customization file to easily make everyone’s copy of Word, for example, look the same.

To export your customization to share with others or as a backup, click Import/Export > Export All Customizations and export the customizations as an .exportedUI format file. This can be imported into another copy of this application on another computer.

sharing your customization

Accessing Commands not in the Ribbon

Another application for creating your own Tabs and groups is to get access to commands that are not currently in the Ribbon.

Click the dropdown list in the left hand panel in the Customize Ribbon dialog and select the ‘Commands not in the Ribbon’ option. You will see there is also a Macros option here – both options give you access to tools not otherwise on the Ribbon.

accessing commands not in ribbon

Renaming tabs and Groups

To rename an existing Ribbon Tab, click on the Tab name in the right hand panel, select Rename and type a new name for it. You can also rename groups by clicking the group name and select Rename.

Reordering the Ribbon

To reorganize the Ribbon you can move Tabs and groups around. To do this, click the tab to move and click the Move Up or Move Down button to the right of the rightmost panel to change its position.

When you’re done customizing the Ribbon, click Ok to view your changes.

Reset the Ribbon

To reset the Ribbon – effectively undoing your changes – so it looks how it did when you installed the program, from the Customize Ribbon area of the Backstage view, select the Reset dropdown list.

Now select to reset just the selected Tab or to reset all customizations. You can also right click a Tab and choose Delete to remove it.

resetting ribbon settings

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Category: Word

About the Author ()

Helen Bradley is a lifestyle journalist specializing in Photoshop, Lightroom, photo editing, web design, Visual Basic and Office software. She writes how to articles, tips and projects and produces how to videos for computer magazines, newspapers and online services in the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK. She writes for PC World,, Practical Photoshop and

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