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Excel Ribbon Tips

Debra Dalgleish - Contextures

While you're working in Excel, save time with the Excel Ribbon tips. Quickly scan the tabs, to find a command. Make the Ribbon smaller, when you need more space. And move commands to a different location, so the commands you use most are easier to reach!

quickly scroll through Ribbon tabs

Quickly Find Commands on Ribbon

Excel has hundreds of commands packed onto the Ribbon! For commands I use every day, it's easy to remember which Ribbon tab they're on. For other commands, I check a few tabs, looking for the one I need!

To help you save time, here's a quick way to check each tab for that "lost" command, instead of clicking on each tab:

  • First, point anywhere on the Excel Ribbon
  • Next, on your mouse, slowly roll the scroll wheel:
    • pull the wheet toward you, to move right
    • push the wheel away from you, to move left

quickly scroll through Ribbon tabs

Ribbon Keyboard Shortcuts

If you know where an Excel command is located on the Ribbon, you can use keyboard shortcuts to run that command!

To access a Ribbon command with shortcuts, follow these steps:

  • First, on your keyboard, tap the F10 key or the Alt key
  • Tags, with letter(s) or number(s), appear on the Ribbon tabs, and on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
    • shortcut codes on Ribbon tags
  • Next, type a tag's letter/number, to activate that Ribbon tab or QAT command
    • For example, type a D, to activate the Data tab
    • Note: Even if the tab you want is active, you’ll have to type its letter, to see its command tags
  • On the activated tab, tags appear on all the available commands
    • Dimmed out tags appear on unavailable commands
    • shortcut codes on command tags
  • Next, type the letter(s) or number(s) that you see on any Ribbon tab or on any of the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) commands
    • For esample, type SD, to sort in descending order

Show or Hide Ribbon

While working in Excel, you can show the full Ribbon, or just the row of tabs. Most of the time, I show the tabs only, because the full Ribbon takes up too much space!

Here's the quick way to toggle between the Tab Row Only view, and the Full Ribbon view:

  • Point to any Ribbon tab
  • Double-click on that tab

You can see the steps in this short video.

Ribbon Settings List

There's also a drop down list of Ribbon settings, at the bottom-right corner of the Ribbon.

show ribbon or show tabs only

Show Developer Tab on Ribbon

If you work with macros in Excel, you'll use the Developer tab on the Excel Ribbon. If it's not visible, this video shows the steps to add it.

There are written instructions below the video.

To add the Developer tab in Excel:

  1. Right-click on the Ribbon, and click Customize Ribbon
  2. Add a check mark beside Developer, in the list at the right.
  3. Click OK, to close the Excel Options window.

    Show Developer tab on Excel Ribbon

Move Groups on Excel Ribbon Tab

You can customize the Excel Ribbon, by moving or removing the groups on a default Ribbon tab. In this video, see how to move groups on the Data tab, so the tools that are used most often are in the middle of the tab, and easier to reach.

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Related Tutorials

Excel Custom Ribbon -- Getting Started

Excel Ribbon - Custom Tab

Custom Ribbon Tab - Your Macros

Customize Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)


Last updated: June 11, 2024 1:57 PM