Office 2013 Tip: Switch the Ribbon View

The Ribbon in Office 2007 wasn’t met with open arms, but now that users are used to it, it’s hard to imagine not having it. Office 2013 allows you to switch between three different views of it.

There was a lot of discussion when Microsoft first introduce the Ribbon in Office 2007 – though most of it negative. I was leery of the Ribbon at first too, but now I can’t imagine not having it. If you like a more minimalist look, you can still hide the Ribbon in Office 2013. But there’s an additional feature that allows you to switch between three views.

Change Outlook 2013 Ribbon View

Open one of the Office 2013 programs and click the arrow icon at the upper right side of the ribbon (next to the Minimize and Maximize buttons). This will give you the Ribbon Display Options.

Ribbon View

Now you can select Auto-hide, Show Tabs, or Show Tabs and Commands – which is the default Ribbon view.

Display Options

Here’s an example of only displaying tabs on the Ribbon. Once you click  a tab, all of the options will display until you’re done and it will switch to tabs only again.

Tabs Only

Note: Once you make a change to the Ribbon view in a program in document, it will be the same each time you open a new one in the same program. But it will not affect other programs. For example, if I set the Ribbon to show only tabs in Word, each time I open a new Word document, it will only display tabs. But if I open Outlook or Excel, the Ribbon will be the default or whatever view you set it to.

Users continually get more accustomed to the Ribbon, and it’s been incorporated into a lot of different programs, and is included in Windows 8 File Explorer. If you’ve finally accepted the Ribbon in Office, but aren’t ready for it all over Windows, check out our article on how to minimize the Explorer Ribbon or hide it Permanently.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. tahrey

    February 4, 2014 at 4:10 am

    This is very definitely one of those “why didn’t they think of this before?!” ideas. Even if they’re not giving us back the text based menus and the small graphic toolbars, we can at least get a reasonable amalgam of the two… text based category buttons that don’t take up too much screen space, which then pop out (large) graphic toolbars for actual interaction without them actually being in the way all the time.

    Still an absolute pain in the butt if you want to use any properly powerful or complex commands, and you’ll still end up hunting through them for the thing you actually want when it’s been assigned to a nonsensical tab… but, hey, it’s a start.

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