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Like this article? We recommend It’s Customizable!

It’s Customizable!

The Ribbon in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be customized in two ways:

  • You can change the tab order.
  • You can customize the Ribbon by specifying a new color scheme, hiding/showing selected tabs or groups, and changing the order in which Ribbon items are displayed.

To change the Ribbon’s tab order, do the following:

  1. Open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  2. Click the cog icon at the right side of the Ribbon tabs and choose Customize Ribbon Tab Order.
  3. In the changed tab area (see Figure 9), do any of the following:
    • To hide/remove a tab, click its X button.
    • To change the tab order, drag any tab (except Home) to a new position.
  4. Click Done to accept your changes or click Reset to restore the default tab order.

Figure 9 When you choose Customize Ribbon Tab order, the tabs temporarily take on this appearance. You can drag tabs to new positions and/or click X buttons to remove unneeded tabs.

To further customize the Ribbon, do the following:

  1. Open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  2. Do either of the following:
    • Choose application name > Preferences or press Command-, (comma). In the Preferences dialog box, click the Ribbon icon.
    • Click the cog icon at the right side of the Ribbon tabs and choose Ribbon Preferences.
  3. In the Ribbon preferences dialog box (see Figure 10), do any of the following:
    • In the General section, click check boxes to enable/disable basic features.
    • In the Customize section, choose a different Ribbon color scheme from the Appearance drop-down menu.
    • In the Customize section, click check boxes to show/hide selected Ribbon tabs and groups. You can change their order by dragging items up or down in the list. (Only Word allows you to add optional groups to the Ribbon; additions to PowerPoint and Excel are limited to tabs.)
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

    Figure 10 The Ribbon preferences dialog box (Word shown).

    • You’ll note that the Ribbon dialog box has no Reset option to restore the default Ribbon. Make a note of any changes you make to the Ribbon so you’ll be able to easily reverse them.
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