How to Customize Ribbon in Excel (2 Easy Ways)

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In this article, you are going to learn about how to customize ribbon in Excel. In general, the ribbon is the strip of buttons and icons at the top of the program window that allows you to access various features and commands. You can customize the ribbon by adding or removing tabs, groups, and commands. Customization of the ribbon can come in very handy to a regular Excel user. Or you are doing the same job over and over again, customized ribbons can be life savers. Here is a preview of the customization process of Excel ribbons.

Overview to Customizing Ribbon in Excel

What Can Be Customized?

Tabs: You can add new tabs to Excel ribbon or remove existing ones. Each tab contains a set of related ribbon commands.

Groups: You can add new groups to a tab or remove existing ones. A group is a collection of related commands that are grouped together for easy access.

Commands: You can add new commands to a group or remove existing ones. A command is a single action, such as saving a workbook or inserting a chart.

You can also rename, reorder, or reset the tabs, groups, and commands.

Additionally, you can create custom tabs, groups, and commands using VBA, which enables you to create your own macros and automate tasks to customize the ribbon in Excel.

What Can’t Be Customized?

There are a few limitations to customizing the ribbon in Excel:

  • You cannot move commands outside of their original tab or group.
  • You cannot create nested tabs or groups.
  • You cannot modify the built-in tabs or groups, such as the Home tab or the Formulas group.
  • You cannot add new commands to built-in tabs or groups.
  • You cannot change the appearance of the ribbon, such as the color or font.

It’s also worth noting that customizing the ribbon only affects the current workbook or template, and it’s not permanent, meaning that when you close the workbook or template, the changes you made will not be saved. To make the changes permanent, you should save the workbook or template as a custom template.

Furthermore, some of the commands in the ribbon, such as “New” and “Save” are not customizable as they are part of the Office program and not specific to Excel.

Customize Ribbon in Excel: 2 Easy ways

There are two ways to select the ribbon customization option inside an Excel workbook. So we can customize the ribbon in two ways. Let’s go through the following sections of this article. We will also know about the features of customizing ribbons.

1. Using Customize Ribbon Command from Context Menu

In this section, we will start to customize the ribbon in Excel using a simple trick. Let’s have a look at the description below.


  • First, place the cursor anywhere on the ribbon and right-click on it.
  • After that, select Customize the Ribbon… from the context menu.

Opening Ribbon Customization Window from Context Menu


Now, we will see some features of customizing the ribbons in an Excel file. We will also discuss the advantages of this feature.

1.1 Collapsing the Ribbon to Avail More Free Spaces

Here we will show you how to avail free space by collapsing the ribbon. Let’s go through the process below.


  • To collapse the ribbon, you can double-click on the active tab name or use the “Ctrl + F1” keyboard shortcut. This will hide the ribbon and only show the tabs, allowing more space for your spreadsheet.
  • To bring the ribbon back, you can simply click on a tab or use the same keyboard shortcut.

Collapsing and Bringing Back the Ribbon

1.2 Creating a Custom Ribbon Tab

In the Excel ribbon, there are various default tabs. But if you need to add an extra tab according to your personalized need, you can do it very easily by following the steps below.


  • Firstly, after opening the Customize Ribbon window, go to New Tab. A new tab will be generated.

Generating New Tab in the Ribbon

  • Then, Right-click on the new tab, and select the Rename option.

Selecting Rename for the New Tab

  • Finally, rename the new tab as you desire and press OK (Dialogue box). Again press OK (Customize Ribbon window).

Renaming the New Tab

  • Now, you can see a new tab named Equation Mode on your Excel ribbon.

Adding New Tab in the Ribbon Result

1.3 Creating a Custom Ribbon Group Under a Tab

If you need to add a new group of commands under the newly created tab or under any default tab, follow the steps below.


  • Like before, open the Customize Ribbon A new group is by default created under the new tab that you have created just now. But if you need to add more groups to this tab or any other default tab, just right-click on it and select Add New Group.

Generating a New Group Under a New Tab in Excel Ribbon

  • A new custom group will be created. You can rename it exactly like before. (The new group will not be visible under the selected tab unless you add at least one command corresponding to it).

Final Step of Adding New Group

1.4 Generating a Custom Ribbon Command Under a Group

Now, you need to add your desired ribbon command(s) under the group(s) you have created or under a default group.


  • Same as before, go to Customize Ribbon.
  • Select a group.
  • Then go to Choose commands from: and select All Commands.
  • After that, select a command you want to accumulate under the group and click on Add.
  • Press OK.

Adding New Command Under New Group in Excel Ribbon

  • The command will be successfully accumulated.

Adding New Command Result

1.5 Showing Hidden Tabs in Excel

When a tab is generally used for higher-level operations, it can remain hidden. Such as the Developer tab. This tab is required while working with VBA Codes. So, for the first time use, we need to manually unhide it.


  • As before, go to Customize Ribbon.
  • Select Main Tabs from Customize the Ribbon: 
  • Check the Developer box. And press OK.

Showing Developer Tab in Excel Ribbon

  • The Developer tab will be added inside the ribbon.

Adding Developer Tab Result

1.6 Showing Icons Only (Hiding Command Names)

If you wish that, you don’t want to see the names of the commands that you have just added manually, you can hide them and make the icons visible only.


  • Open the Customize Ribbon.
  • Then, Right-Click on the customized group.
  • Lastly, select Hide Command Labels from the drop-down menu and Press OK.

Only Showing Icons of a Newly Added Command

  • Now, you can see that the label of your customized command disappears but the icon remains as it is.

Showing Only the Icon of a Newly Added Command Result

Keep in mind that you cannot perform this only for one particular command inside the group. For instance, if five additional instructions are added to the group, all five commands will have their labels hidden while the group’s label is hidden.

1.7 Reordering the Excel Tabs

If you want to change the order of the Excel tabs in order to work more efficiently, you can do that very quickly.


  • Go to Customize Ribbon.
  • Select the tab, group, or command you want to move.
  • Press the UP or DOWN arrow on the side, to change the position accordingly, and press OK.

Reordering Tabs in Excel Ribbon

1.8 Removing Tabs, Groups, and Commands

However, it is also possible to remove any Excel tabs, Groups, or Commands from the ribbon.


  • Go to Customize Ribbon.
  • Right-Click on the tab/group/command you want to remove.
  • Select Remove from the drop-down menu and Press OK.

Removing a Newly Added Tab, Group or Command

  • The selected object will be removed.

Removing a Tab, Group or Command Result

1.9 Returning to Default Ribbon

If you want to revert the changes you have made so far inside the Excel ribbon, it can be done in the blink of an eye.


  • Open Customize Ribbon.
  • Click on Reset and then select Reset all customizations.

Returning to Default Excel Ribbon Settings.

  • A Microsoft Office dialog box will appear. Select Yes.

Confirming the Reset Command.

  • Then, Press OK. The ribbon will return to its default appearance.

Completing the Process of Resetting Excel Ribbon.

1.10 Importing or Exporting Customization

Benefits of importing and exporting ribbon customization include:

  • Ability to share custom ribbon configurations with others.
  • Easily transfer customizations between different computers or Excel installations.
  • Ability to backup customizations in case of Excel crashes or other issues.
  • Ability to standardize customizations across an organization.


  • After Excel ribbon customization is complete inside an installation, go to Customize Ribbon and select Import/Export.
  • Select Export all customizations from the drop-down menu.

Exporting Customized Ribbon from Current Installation.

  • A Save File dialog box will appear. Then, save the .exportedUI file in your desired location.

Saving the exported.UI file in a Suitable Location.

  • While working on another installation, take the file with you.
  • Again open the Customize Ribbon window and click on Import/Export.
  • Select Import customization file.

Overview to Customizing Ribbon in Excel

  • A File Open dialog box will appear. Select and Open the .exprtedUI file that contains the customization information.

Opening the exported.UI File to Import Ribbon Customizations.

  • Another Microsoft Office dialog box will appear. Click on Yes.

Confirming the Import Customization Command.

  • Press OK. You will have your previously customized ribbon on a new Excel installation also.

Completing the Process of Importing Customized Ribbon.

2. Navigating to Customize Ribbon from the File Tab

  • Click on the File tab.

Opening the Ribbon Customization by File Tab

  • From the drop-down menu, select More… After that, select Options.

Selecting Options to Navigate to Customize Ribbon.

  • Finally, click on the Customize Ribbon.

Completing the Process of Opening Ribbon Customization Using File Tab.

Here from this point, we can also do the above-mentioned operations exactly like before.

Things to Remember

  • The Ribbon is customizable, but it is important to keep the changes consistent with the overall design and layout of the Ribbon.
  • Create custom tabs or groups only if they are needed for specific tasks. This can help to avoid cluttering the Ribbon.
  • Use appropriate icons and labels for custom buttons and commands, to make them easy to recognize and understand.
  • Test the customizations thoroughly to ensure that they work as expected and do not interfere with other features of Excel.
  • Consider creating a backup of the original Ribbon configuration, in case you need to restore it later.
  • If you are using Excel on multiple computers, you may need to export and import your customizations to ensure that they are consistent across all devices.
  • Be aware that customizations made to the Ribbon are specific to the version of Excel in which they are made and may not be compatible with other versions of Excel.


By the end of this article, you should know, how to customize the ribbon in Excel. Excel Ribbon customizations can be a powerful way to streamline your workflow and improve productivity. By keeping in mind the best practices outlined above, you can make sure that your customizations are effective, easy to use, and consistent with the overall design of the Excel Ribbon. With a little bit of planning and attention to detail, you can create custom Ribbon configurations that will help you work more efficiently and effectively in Excel. You can drop any comment in the comment section below if you have any queries. Do explore Exceldemy to get more articles like this.

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Md. Nafis Soumik
Md. Nafis Soumik

I am Md. Nafis Soumik. I am a Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering (NAME) graduate from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). My hobby is to listen and create music along with backpacking. My career goal is to pursue higher education eventually. I always attempt to learn from many sources and try to come up with creative answers.

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