How to Customize the Excel Ribbon

At first glance, the Excel Ribbon can be quite intimidating. If you’re not exactly sure where a command or function is located, trying to find it in the Ribbon can be difficult. The default settings provide for at least 8 different tabs, dozens of different command groups, and over 100 separate commands. If you don’t know how to organize the Excel Ribbon, attempting to use it can be frustrating. Luckily, customizing the Ribbon to your own unique needs is fairly easy. Once you know how to create your own tabs and command groups, you can redesign the Excel Ribbon in a way that best suits your needs.

Making the Excel Ribbon Your Own

To get started, go to the File Tab and scroll down to “Options”.

Excel Ribbon Options

In the Options dialogue box that opens, click the Customize Ribbon link.
Customize Excel Ribbon

On the left-hand side of the window is a list of all the commands available in Excel (which you can sort using the drop down box at the top of the list). On the right-hand side is a list of what’s currently showing on the Excel Ribbon. Click the plus sign next to one of the tab names to open up the groups in that tab, and then click the plus sign next to one of the command group names to open up the list of commands in that group (as in the screenshot below).

Customize Excel Ribbon Window

You can add and remove groups and commands by using the two buttons in the center of the window. You can also create your own tabs and groups on the Excel Ribbon using the buttons below the list on the right-hand side of the window. To create a new Tab, simply click “New Tab”. A new tab will then be inserted in the Tab list.

Customize Excel Ribbon New Tab

Right-click the new tab in the list and click “Rename”. You can now call your new tab whatever you want (I named mine “My Tab”). You can do the same thing with the new group that was inserted in your new tab (I named my new group “My Group”). If you want to add another group to your tab, simply select the tab you want to add the group to and, click “New Group”.

Once you have your custom tabs and groups established, you can begin adding commands to your custom Excel Ribbon. Keep in mind that commands can only be added to groups (not tabs). To get started, simply find the command (or commands) you want to add in the list on the left, highlight them, and then highlight the group on the right that you want to add them to. Then click “Add”.

So, if you wanted to add the Copy command to your new My Group group, select “Copy”, then select “My Group”, then click “Add”.

Customize Excel Ribbon Add Command

Your Excel Ribbon should now look something like this:

Customize Excel Ribbon final

That’s all there is to it! You can now add/remove commands, groups, and tabs and customize the Excel Ribbon in any way you please.

Learn to Harness the Power of Excel

Learn even more useful customization tricks by signing up for our free newsletter! You’ll get free Excel tips and tricks directly in your inbox and also receive exclusive discounts on our training classes.


Microsoft Unveils New Version of Microsoft Office

Today, Microsoft unveiled a preview of its upcoming Office 2016 product suite. The new Word, Excel, and PowerPoint editions are available for preview for those running the Windows 10 Technical Preview. You can signup for the Technical Preview on Microsoft’s website.

The new Office suite will be pre-installed (for free) on phones and tablets running the new Windows 10 operating system. Everyone else will have to download the software. However, the added functionality of the updated programs does look promising. All the new “apps” are optimized for touch-screen devices. Many of the sharing features of Microsoft’s core programs have been re-vamped, and you will be able to see edits from other users on shared files in real-time. You will also be able to manage all your documents, emails, presentations, and even spreadsheets with the touch of a finger. Though, I would probably caution against discarding your mouse just yet. The new software is scheduled for launch towards the end of this year.

Stay up-to-date with the latest Microsoft news by signing up for our Desktop Secrets Newsletter. Signup today, and you’ll receive the latest Microsoft news right in your inbox. You’ll also gain access to exclusive tips and secrets and special offers for our training classes! Signup here.