2 little-known tips for working with the Ribbon in all Office programs

Tip 1 – Minimize the Ribbon quickly

When Microsoft introduced the Ribbon interface in their Office 2007 version, lot of users were unhappy that it takes up so much screen real-estate away. I hated the Ribbon interface and over time, I have gotten used to it. When you are editing a document whether it is Excel, Word or Powerpoint, it is helpful to have the Ribbon fully displayed. However, when you are presenting a document or just reading it, it is good to have more screen real-estate by getting rid of the Ribbon temporarily.

In a lot of meetings I attend, I see people scrolling up and down to see a few more lines whereas minimizing the Ribbon could have helped them to avoid scrolling. If you are sitting with a group of people of review any Excel, Word or Powerpoint, you should consider minimizing the Ribbon.

It is actually quite easy to do and there are 3 ways to do this:

1. Just double-click on the tab-header (in the image below, double-click on the highlighted tab – ‘Home’).

Full Ribbon

Now, the Ribbon is minimized as shown below and looks like the Menu in the Office 2003 and earlier. You can double-click on the tab again to maximize it.

Minimized Ribbon

2. Press CTRL + F1 to toggle the status of the Ribbon – pressing the keys once minimizes the Ribbon; pressing the keys again maximizes the Ribbon

3. Right-click anywhere in the Ribbon and select ‘Minimize the Ribbon’

Don’t worry if you have to access any of the commands in the Ribbon while it is minimized – just hover over the minimized Ribbon area and you will see the Ribbon. Once you select the command, the Ribbon gets out of the way.

Tip 2 – Scroll the Ribbon tabs using mouse

When your mouse is inside the region of the Ribbon, you can use the scrollwheels in your mouse to cycle through the Ribbon Tabs. You don’t have to click on anything in the Ribbon;  just bring the mouse inside the area of the Ribbon and scroll using the scrollwheel in your mouse and you can quickly switch to a far-away tab easily. Try it – if not a productivity aid, it is at least an eye-candy.

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One thought on “2 little-known tips for working with the Ribbon in all Office programs

  1. Roger October 18, 2012 at 7:55 am Reply

    Useful Tips

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