by Svetlana Cheusheva, updated on
See how to customize Excel ribbon with your own tabs and commands, hide and show tabs, rename and rearrange groups, restore the ribbon to the default settings, back up and share your custom ribbon with other users.
Introduced in Excel 2007, the ribbon allows you to access most of the commands and features. In Excel 2010, the ribbon became customizable. Why would you want to personalize the ribbon? Perhaps you will find it convenient to have your own tab with your favorite and most used commands at your fingertips. Or you will want to hide tabs you use less often. Whatever the reason, this tutorial will teach you how to quickly customize the ribbon to your liking.
Before you start doing something, it's always good to know what can and what cannot be done.
To save your time and efforts when working on different tasks in Excel, you can personalize the ribbon with things like:
Though a lot of ribbon customizations are allowed in Excel, certain things cannot be changed:
Most customizations to the Excel ribbon are done in the Customize the Ribbon window, which is part of Excel Options. So, to start customizing the ribbon, do one of the following:
Either way, the Excel Options dialog window will open enabling you to do all the customizations described below. The instructions are the same for Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013 and Excel 2010.
To make your favorite commands easily accessible, you can add your own tab to the Excel ribbon. Here's how:
This adds a custom tab with a custom group because commands can only be added to custom groups.
As shown in the screenshot below, our custom tab is added to the Excel ribbon immediately, though the custom group is not displayed because it is empty. For the group to show up, it must contain at least one command. We will add commands to our custom tab in a moment but, to be consistent, we will first look at how to create a custom group.
Tips and notes:
To add a new group to either a default or custom tab, this is what you need to do:
In this example, we're going to add a custom group to the end of the Home tab, so we select it, and click New Group:
Optionally, from the Symbol box, select the icon to represent your custom group. This icon will appear on the ribbon when the Excel window is too narrow to show the commands, so only the group names and icons are displayed. Please see how to rename items on the ribbon for full details.
Tip. To save some room on the ribbon, you can remove text from the commands in your custom group and show only the icons.
Commands can only be added to custom groups. So, before adding a command, be sure to create a custom group on an inbuilt or custom tab first, and then perform the below steps.
As an example, we are adding add the Subscript and Superscript buttons to the custom tab that we created:
As the result, we now have a custom ribbon tab with two buttons:
If you're using a small monitor or a laptop with a small screen, every inch of screen space matters. To save some room on the Excel ribbon, you can remove text labels from your custom commands to show only icons. Here's how:
In addition to giving your own names to custom tabs and groups that you create, Excel allows you to rename the built-in tabs and groups. However, you cannot change names of the inbuilt commands, only commands added to custom groups can be renamed.
To rename a tab, group or custom command, carry out these steps:
For groups and commands, you can also select an icon from the Symbol box, like shown in the screenshot below:
Note. You can change the name of any custom and build-in tab, except the File tab that cannot be renamed.
To know exactly where everything is located on your Excel ribbon, you can put tabs and groups in the most convenient places. However, the build-in commands cannot be moved, you can only change order of commands in custom groups.
To rearrange items on the ribbon, this is what you need to do:
The screenshot below shows how to move a custom tab to the left end of the ribbon.
Note. You can change the placement of any build-in tab such as Home, Insert, Formulas, Data, and others, except the File tab that cannot be moved.
While you can remove both default and custom groups, only custom tabs and custom commands can be removed. The build-in tabs can be hidden; built-in commands can nether be removed nor hidden.
To remove a group, a custom tab or command, do the following:
For example, this is how we remove a custom command from the ribbon:
Tip. It is not possible to remove a command from a built-in group. However, you can make a custom group with the commands you need, and then remove the entire built-in group.
If you feel the ribbon contains a couple of extra tabs that you never use, you can easily hide them from view.
For instance, that's how you can show the Developer tab, which is not visible in Excel by default:
Note. You can hide both custom and built-in tabs, except the File tab that cannot be hidden.
To personalize the contextual ribbon tabs that appear when you select a certain item such as a table, chart, graphic or shape, select Tool Tabs from the Customize the Ribbon drop-down list. This will display the full list of context-sensitive tabs available in Excel letting you hide, show, rename, and rearrange these tabs as well as add your own buttons to them.
If you've made some ribbon customizations, and then want to revert to the original setup, you can reset the ribbon in the following way.
To reset the entire ribbon:
To reset a specific tab:
If you invested quite a lot of time in customizing the ribbon, you may want to export your settings to another PC or share your ribbon customizations with someone else. It's also a good idea to save your current ribbon configuration before migrating to a new machine. To have it done, please follow these steps.
On the computer where you customized the ribbon, open the Customize the Ribbon window, click Import/Export, then click Export all customizations, and save the Excel Customizations.exportedUI file to some folder.
On another computer, open the Customize the Ribbon window, click Import/Export, select Import customization file, and browse for the customizations file that you saved.
Tips and notes:
That's how you personalize the ribbon in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
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