Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The Excel User Interface
A few commands failed to make the cut and do not appear in the Ribbon. But they are
still available if you know where to look for them. Right-click the Quick Access toolbar
and choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar. Excel displays a dialog box with a list of
commands that you can add to your Quick Access toolbar. Some of these commands
aren’t available elsewhere in the UI. In Excel 2010, you can also add new commands to
the Ribbon: Right-click the Ribbon and select Customize The Ribbon.
Tabs, groups, and tools
The Ribbon is a band of tools that stretches across the top of the Excel window. About the
vertical size of three of the old-style toolbars, the Ribbon sports a number of tabs including Home,
Insert, Page Layout, and others. On each tab are groups that contain related tools. On the Home
tab, for example, you find the Clipboard group, the Font group, the Alignment group, and others.
Within the groups are the tools, which are similar to the tools that existed on the old-style
toolbars with one major difference: their different sizes. Tools that you use most often are larger than
less-frequently used tools. For example, nearly half of the Clipboard group is consumed by the
large Paste tool; the Cut, Copy, and Format Painter tools are much smaller. Microsoft determined
that the Paste tool is the most used tool and thus sized it accordingly.
The Ribbon and all its components resize dynamically as you resize the Excel window
horizontally. Smaller Excel windows collapse the tools on compressed tabs and groups, and maximized
Excel windows on large monitors show everything that’s available. Even in a small window, all
Ribbon commands remain available. You just may need to click a few extra times to access them.
Figure 1-2 shows three sizes of the Ribbon when the Home tab is displayed using an increasingly
smaller horizontal window size.
Figure 1-2: The Ribbon sizes dynamically, depending on the horizontal size of Excel’s window.
Using the Ribbon is fairly easy with a mouse. You click a tab and then click a tool. If you prefer to
use the keyboard, Microsoft has added a feature just for you. Pressing Alt displays tiny squares
with shortcut letters in them that hover over their respective tab or tool. Each shortcut letter that
you press either executes its command or drills down to another level of shortcut letters.
Pressing Esc cancels the letters or moves up to the previous level.
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