Learn about the Microsoft Office Ribbon

Learn about the Office ribbon and start using the new toolbar and features quickly with learning options designed to meet your needs, whether you are new to Office or an Office expert.


The Ribbon was introduced in Office 2007 as part of the Office user interface. It is included in select Office 2007 applications (Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word), and is included in all Office 2010 desktop applications.

The Ribbon was designed to help make the Office applications easier to work with, and help users discover the rich features and capabilities of Office. The menus and toolbars had expanded over the Years making it difficult for users to find the commands they needed quickly and easily.

The Ribbon at a glance

Feature Description
The Office Button (Office 2007) and File tab (Office 2010) Provides a centralized location for all the things you can do with a file: share, print, or send.
Quick Access Toolbar A customizable toolbar which displays the commands you use most.
Contextual Tabs These tabs display in the Ribbon only when they are relevant to the task at hand, such as formatting a table or an image.
Galleries Select from an array of preformatted themes, styles, effects, shapes and templates.
Live Preview View formatting changes before you apply them to your document.

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Key ribbon features and benefits

Find commands quickly

Traditional menus and toolbars have been replaced with tabs which group related commands together making it easier to find and use features when creating or editing a document. Contextual tabs appear only when you are working on a specific task, such as adding a graphic or formatting a table. These tabs provide quick access to rich formatting capabilities in a few clicks.

Word menus in 2003 products, arrow, Word 2010 File tab and ribbon

The Office button (Office 2007) and the File Tab (Office 2010) provide one location for all the things you can do with a file: save, share, print, and publish your files with just a few clicks. And, with the improved Ribbon in Office 2010, you can access your favorite commands even more quickly by customizing tabs or creating your own to personalize the experience to your work style.

Create high-quality documents

You don’t have to be a design expert to create professional-looking graphics and documents. The Ribbon presents you with an array of preexisting themes, styles, SmartArt, and effects, each presented in a gallery view.

Create many types of graphics such as organization charts, lists, and picture diagrams. Transform words into impressive visuals that better illustrate your ideas. Create diagrams as easily as typing a bulleted list or convert text and images to a diagram in just a few clicks.   

PowerPoint 2010 Photo Editing

Add visual effects to text

Apply formatting effects such as shadow, bevel, glow, and reflection to your document text as easily as applying bold or underline. You can spell-check text that uses visual effects, and add text effects to paragraph styles. Many of the same effects used for images are now available to both text and shapes, enabling you to seamlessly coordinate all of your content.

Word 2010 Text Effects

Create compelling diagrams

Word 2010 offers you more options to add visual impact to your documents. Choose from dozens of additional SmartArt® Graphics to build impressive diagrams just by typing a bulleted list. Use SmartArt to transform basic, bullet-point text into compelling visuals that better illustrate your ideas.


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Get started with the Office ribbon

Explore a variety of help and training options designed to help new and experienced Office users up to speed using the Ribbon, learn about the new features and capabilities quickly. Find resources to help get you started >

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