Excel Ribbon explained in detail


Excel Ribbon is a strip of buttons and icons, as marked in below image. The buttons and icons in Excel Ribbon are grouped into different tabs based on the category of their functionalities.

Excel Ribbon

Main components of Excel Ribbon

Four main components of Excel Ribbon are Tabs, Groups, Buttons and Dialog Box launcher.

Main components of Excel Ribbon are explained below.

1) Tabs: Tabs contain groups of Excel commands arranged based on the command's functionality. For example, the "Formulas" tab contains commands related with Excel functions and formulas.

Excel Ribbon Tabs


After installation, if no customization done in Excel, the Excel Ribbon contains nine tabs in its Tab list as explained below. Those Tab labels are "File", "Home", "Insert", "Page Layout", "Formulas", "Data", "Review", "View" and "Help".

• File : The File tab in Excel Ribbon is used to open Excel Backstage View. Excel Backstage View contains many options to work with the Excel file & customization. Excel Backstage View is where data about the files is edited and managed.

• Home : Home Tab contains commonly used Excel commands like copy, paste, format, find, replace etc.

• Insert : Insert Tab contains objects you can insert to your worksheets like tables, pictures, 3D models, charts, icons, shapes etc.

• Page Layout : Page Layout tab contains options mainly for page setup and print.

• Formulas : Formulas tab contains options mainly for inserting and troubleshooting Excel functions.

• Data : Data tab contains options mainly for filtering, sorting and manipulating data. It has options for importing external data.

• Review : Review tab contains tools mainly for spell checking, thesaurus, sharing, protecting and tracking changes in Excel Worksheets.

• View : View tab contains mainly commands to view the Excel worksheet, like change views, freeze panes, arrange multiple windows etc.

• Help : Help tab contains mainly the options to get help on Excel.

There is another important tab in Excel Ribbon called as "Developer", which is not visible by default. You need to configure the Options to make it visible. The Developer tab contains commands for Excel VBA programmers. To make the Developer tab visible, follow these steps.

Click File tab in Ribbon and then click Options in the left panel. Select Customize Ribbon and check the Check box next to Developer and then click OK.

Options Developer Tab

2) Groups: Each Tab has its own specific groups of related commands. Each group contains buttons, sub-menus, and dialog box launchers. By clicking the button, you can run the related command. The groups in Excel Ribbon have many additional commands. To view the additional commands, click the arrow at the right bottom corner of any group.

Excel Ribbon Tab Groups

3) Buttons : Each group contains different types of buttons that can be used to run a command, to open a Button menu or to open a gallery. Refer below example to see a Button-menu is opened while clicking the "Conditional Formatting" button.

Excel Ribbon Buttons

Click following link to learn more about different types of Button components used in Excel.

4) Dialog Box launcher: Dialog Box launcher button is located in the bottom right corner of some Groups. When you click the Dialog Box launcher, the main Excel Dialog Box with full set of options is launched.

Excel Ribbon Dialog Box Launcher

For example, if you click the Dialog Box launcher from the "Alignment" group as shown above, a Dialog box with full set of Alignment formatting options is displayed as shown below.

Excel Ribbon Dialog Box


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