What is Ribbon in Excel and what are its elements?

What is Ribbon?

Ribbon is a strip containing various tabs and icons and is located at the top of the application:

On the Ribbon you can quickly find lot of commands to make necessary actions. We can say, that Ribbon is some kind of complex toolbar.

Elements of the Ribbon in Excel

Ribbon in Excel composes of four main element types. These are: tabs, commands groups, commands buttons and dialog window launcher.

Tabs – contain lot of commands divided into group (marked on red);
Command group – set of related commands, which are usually performed as part of a bigger task (marked on blue);
Command button – button, which performs particular action after clicking (example command buttons are marked on green);
Dialog window launcher- small arrow in the bottom right side of command group (marked on orange). After clicking this arrow you get new dialog window opened. This launcher appears only in groups, which consists of more commands that are visible in default in the command group.

Elements of each Ribbon’s tab

Default Ribbon in Excel includes below tabs, in order from left to right:

File – this tab has been introduced in Excel 2010. It contains basic file options such as: creating new spreadsheet, opening existing one from various locations, saving, printing and export. It also gives a quick access to Excel general options.

Home – consists of most frequently used commands such as cells and font formatting, sorting, filters or creating rules for conditional formatting.

Insert – commands in this tab are used to add various objects to spreadsheets such as tables, pivot tables, charts, pictures, hyperlinks, equations, symbols or external files.

Draw – depending on used device, commands in this tab allow drawing by using digital pen, finger or mouse. This tab is added by default to Ribbon in Excel 2017 and later, but it is also available in version 2013 and 2016, but has to be added by Customize the Ribbon option.

Page Layout – here you can find options which are necessary to set up printing parameters page margins, size or orientation.

Formulas – tab used mainly for inserting formulas, however you can also find here some commands for checking correctness of already created formulas.

Data – provides commands for managing data in the spreadsheet. Most popular commands within this tab are sorting, filtering, duplicate removal or text to column option. This tab also includes option for linking external data to your spreadsheet (for example from .csv, .txt files or databases).

Review – allows to verify spelling, track changes, add notes and comments or protect data entered to spreadsheet.

View – contains commands related to widely understood spreadsheet view.

Help – this tab is available only in Excel 2019 and Office 365. It gives quick access to Help window and allows contact with Microsoft technical support or sending your feedback about Excel.

Developer – gives an access to more advanced Excel functionalities such as VBA macros, Form and ActiveX controls or XML commands. This tab is not added by default to the Ribbon, but you can add it manually by Customize the Ribbon option.

Add-ins – this tab is also not shown on the Ribbon by default. It appears, when you have some optional add-ins installed to Excel.

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