Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Maximizing Ribbon Efficiency
Figure 2-1: The look of the Ribbon varies, depending on the width of the Excel window.
h Take advantage of contextual tabs on the Ribbon. In some cases, the Ribbon displays
new, contextual tabs. For example, when you select a chart, you see three new tabs:
Design, Layout, and Format. Notice that these new tabs contain a description on the
Excel title bar (when a chart is selected, the description reads Chart Tools). Selecting any
of the following elements also results in the display of contextual tabs: a table, a
PivotTable, a PivotTable Slicer, a drawing (a shape or WordArt), a picture (a photo or clip
art), a header or footer (in Page Layout view), a SmartArt diagram, or an equation. You
can, of course, continue to use all the other tabs when a contextual tab is displayed.
h When the mouse pointer is within the Ribbon arrow, use the mouse’s scroll wheel to
scroll through the tabs.
h Right-click just about anything on-screen to get a context-sensitive shortcut menu.
Shortcut menus are one part of the old user interface that’s still in place. And, if you’re
trying to decrease your mouse dependence, you can also press Shift+F10 to display the
shortcut menu for the selected item (cell, range, or chart element, for example).
h Some of the tab groups contain a small icon, to the right of the group name. These icons
are known as dialog box launchers. Click one, and you get a dialog box relevant to the
commands in the group. For example, click the dialog box launcher in the Number group
of the Home tab, and you get the Format Cells dialog box, with the Number tab selected.
You can use this dialog box to specify number formats that aren’t available directly from
h Right-click certain items in Excel to take advantage of the Mini Toolbar, displayed above
the shortcut menu (see Figure 2-2). This toolbar contains formatting tools that may save
you a trip to the Ribbon. When I started using Excel 2007, I just ignored the Mini Toolbar,
but I soon realized that it’s a very handy tool.