5 Microsoft Office Ribbon Tweaks You May Not Have Known

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Thanks to some internal emails that were going around recently, we’ve discovered some great Microsoft Office ribbon tweaks, tips, and customizations. I’ll confess, I hadn’t known about all of these, but they certainly are handy:

  1. Hide the Ribbon: To hide the ribbon out of view leaving only the tab names showing, just double-click on any tab’s name.
  2. Customize the Quick Access Toolbar: By default, the Quick Access Toolbar has the “Save,” “Undo,” and “Redo” buttons on it, but you can change that. To do so, go to any tab and  right-click on the little pull-down menu symbol next to the window title on any Ribbon app. Here, you have the option to click on “Customize Quick Access Toolbar.” From the menu that displays, you can add and remove commands from the Quick Access Toolbar to suit your preferences. Add your most frequently used commands and you can hide the ribbon to get more screen real estate without losing access to the commands you use the most.
  3. Find Hidden Commands: Because the Ribbon is meant to bring more simplicity to working with Office software, there are some infrequently used commands that are not available on the ribbon or are just harder to find. To bring these back into view, follow the steps above in #2 to customize the Quick Access Toolbar and you can get access to these commands once again. A couple examples of hidden commands include Excel’s pop-up calculator and PowerPoint’s Advanced Document Properties, which lets you see how big the file is.
  4. Customize the Quick Access Toolbar on the Fly: No need to hunt down the little right-click menu, though, you can just right-click any command on the ribbon and choose “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.”
  5. Scroll Through Tabs With a Mouse Wheel: If you have a mouse with a wheel, you can scroll through the tabs if the cursor is over the Ribbon – very useful for quick switching.

We would like to thank both Steven Levy and Alex Babanov for these great tips!

The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Terrible terrible software design. 
    Customizing the Quick Access Menu gives you a list of menu items, but you can't filter them, or search through them for the one you want, so you have to scroll through a list of around 100 commands to find the onw you want?  I looked for what was previously Insert -> New Comment. 
    For business documents, I see this used all the time. It's not on the ribbon, and it's not in the customize list... so where is it?  In the end, I had to download a free 3rd party app that restores the old menu.  Now I have access to everything I want again, and the ribbon is just useless fluff that I keep hidden and never use.

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