How to Customize the Ribbon in Excel

Make the display fit the way you work

Customize Excel Ribbon dialog box

First introduced in Excel 2007, the ribbon is the strip of buttons and icons located above the work area. The ribbon replaces the menus and toolbars found in earlier versions of Excel.

This article applies to Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, and Excel for Office 365

Ribbon Components

The ribbon includes tabs labeled Home, Insert, Page Layout, Formulas, Data, Review, View, and Help. When you select a tab, you see a new set of groups and, within the groups, buttons representing a variety of commands.

For example, when Excel opens the Home tab is displayed, along with all the groups and buttons within it. Each group represents a particular function. The Number group includes several commands used to format numbers, such as Increase/Decrease Decimal. The Cells group includes options for inserting, deleting, and formatting cells.

Ribbon tabs in Excel

Selecting a command on the ribbon may lead to further options contained in a contextual menu or dialog box that relate specifically to the chosen command.

Collapsing and Expanding the Ribbon

The ribbon can be collapsed to increase the size of the worksheet visible on your computer screen. There are four ways to collapse the ribbon.

Microsoft Excel with ribbon collapsed
  1. Double-click one of the ribbon tabs, such as Home, Insert, or Page Layout. Only the tabs will be left showing. To expand the ribbon, double-click one of the tabs again.

  2. Press CTRL + F1 on your keyboard. Only the tabs will be left showing. To expand the ribbon, press CTRL + F1 on your keyboard again.

  3. On the ribbon itself, to the very right is a small up-facing arrow. To collapse the ribbon, select the arrow. Only the tabs will be left showing. To expand the ribbon, double-click one of the tabs.

    Close ribbon arrow in Excel
  4. In the upper-right corner of Excel, above the ribbon, locate the Ribbon Display Options button, which looks like a box with an up-facing arrow inside it. Select this button and choose Auto-hide Ribbon. Neither the tabs nor the commands will be visible. To expand the ribbon, select Ribbon Display Options again, and choose Show Tabs and Commands.

Customizing the Ribbon

Since Excel 2010, it has been possible to customize the ribbon using the Customize Ribbon option. You can use this option to:

  • Rename or reorder the default tabs and groups
  • Display only certain tabs
  • Add or remove commands to existing tabs
  • Add custom tabs and custom groups containing frequently used commands

There are also certain things that cannot be changed on the ribbon, specifically the default commands which appear in gray text in the Customize Ribbon window:

  • Names of the default commands
  • Icons associated with the default commands
  • Order of these commands on the ribbon

Here are some basics for customizing the ribbon.

  1. Select any tab, such as Home, Insert, or Page Layout.

  2. On the ribbon, to the right of all the groups, right-click. A menu appears.

    Customize the Ribbon menu item in Excel
  3. From the menu, select Customize the Ribbon. The Customize Ribbon window appears.

  4. Say you want to add the command Delete Sheet Rows to the Layout tab. When adding commands to the ribbon, you must create a custom group. To do so, in the right column select the tab to which you want to add a command. Then, at the bottom of the right column, select New Group.

    New Group button in Excel
  5. A New Group (Custom) item appears under the tab you selected. To give the group a more specific name, select Rename.

    Rename button in Excel
  6. A Rename window appears. Select an icon and type your new name in the Display name field. Select OK.

    Rename dialog in Excel
  7. The new group name replaces New Group. Make sure the group name is selected. Then, from the left column, select the command you want to make part of this group. Between the two columns, select Add. The command is added to your new group.

    Add button in Excel
  8. Select OK. The new group and command now appear on the ribbon.