Professional V1.1 Feature Tour - Part 1: Tabs & Groups
RibbonCustomizer™ Professional lets you customize the Office 2007 Ribbon to suit your needs. You can use RibbonCustomizer™ on all of the Ribbons in Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word 2007. This feature tour will give you a good idea of what you can do with this add-in and also show you how to do it.
In the first part, I will show you how to alter existing Ribbon tabs by changing the groups displayed on them and creating your own new tab. Although I will be using PowerPoint in this demonstration, you can follow these instructions in any of the five Ribbon applications, as the add-in works the same way in all of them.
You can also see this feature tour as a demo.
RibbonCustomizer™ can be found on the View tab of Excel, PowerPoint and Word. In Access and Outlook, you will find it on the Add-Ins tab. The following screenshot shows you what the RibbonCustomizer™ icon looks like in PowerPoint.
The Customize Ribbon button (indicated by the red arrow) is a so-called split button. This means that you can either click the icon itself to trigger a function, or you can click the text under the icon to open the associated menu (see screenshot below).
The Paste button on the Home tab is another split button that you are probably familiar with.
You can use either the icon of the split button or the first menu option (both highlighted with red arrows above) to bring up the Customize Ribbon dialog. The Customize Ribbon dialog is where you will perform all of your customizations. You can see the dialog in the following screenshot.
Familiarizing yourself with the Customize Ribbon dialog
The area of the dialog highlighted in red (left side) in the screenshot above is where your customization will be displayed. On the right, highlighted in blue, you will see the original Ribbon, as shipped by Microsoft. The top of both sides shows the tabs while the bottom shows the groups on the selected tab. This represents the basic organization of any Ribbon tab:
A tab is composed of multiple groups. In the screenshot above of the PowerPoint Home tab e.g., you can see that the Clipboard and Font groups are highlighted in red. Only groups can be added to tabs, and individual controls can only be added to groups. In other words, a group serves as a container for controls, whereas a tab serves as a container for groups.
Adding & removing Microsoft groups
Let us imagine that you want to add the Slides group shown above on the Home tab to the Insert tab. Perhaps you consider adding a new slide to be an insertion task, so you expect this feature to be on the Insert tab instead of the Home tab. To make this change, first select the Insert tab on the left (1), because that is where you want to move the Slides group. Next, select the tab that contains that group on the default Ribbon on the right. In our case, this is the Home tab (2). After selecting the tab, all you have to do is select the Slides group on the right (3) and either double-click it or use the Add Group button (4). You will then see the Slides group added to the Insert tab on the left (5).
If you want to change the position of the Slides group on the Insert tab, use the arrows on the left (6) to move the group either up or down. You can see in the following screenshot that I moved the Slides group to be after the Tables group. After you are done customizing the group, press the OK button in the left hand bottom corner and switch to the Insert tab. As you can see below, the Slides group now appears on the Insert tab.
It is easy to remove a group from a tab. Let us assume that you want to remove the Slides group completely from the Home tab, as you now have this group on the Insert tab. To do this, go back into the Customize Ribbon dialog and select the Home tab located on the left (1). Next, select the Slides group under Customize tab (2). You can then either double-click the Slides group or use the Remove Group button (3) to remove it. In this way, you could also remove the Slides group you added to the Insert tab earlier.
Adding & removing tabs
Adding and removing tabs is as simple as adding and removing groups. If you want to remove a tab, simply select it in the tab list on the left and use the Remove Tab button. You cannot double-click a tab itself to remove it in order to prevent accidental removal of tabs. To add a tab, select it on the right and use the Add Tab button. If you want to create your own new tab, use the New Tab button. Once you click New Tab, you will see the dialog shown in the screenshot below.
This dialog will appear whenever you are creating or editing a label for a custom item (e.g. a new tab or group). While creating or editing a label is pretty much self-explanatory (just enter the label and press OK), the language drop down box indicated by the arrow deserves some explanation. This box stems from the fact that Office is available in many different user interface languages. For example, the Insert tab in the English language version is called the Einfügen tab in the German language version. RibbonCustomizer™ allows you to create customizations that adjust themselves with the language. For example, you can enter one label in German and one in English. When the Office UI language is set to German, the German label will display, however otherwise you will see the English one. If you do not have to deal with more than user interface language, you can simply keep ignore the language drop down box, leaving it set to Default.
If you want to edit a particular tab label, double-click the tab on the left side to bring up the above dialog again.
There are two reset buttons in the Customize Ribbon dialog: Reset Ribbon and Reset Tab. Reset Ribbon will delete all your customizations and restore your Ribbon to the Microsoft default. Reset Tab will reset the currently selected tab, leaving only the Microsoft groups that are on the tab by default. In the case of your own tab, using Reset Tab will eliminate all groups in the tab.
RibbonCustomizer™ will not allow you to remove the tab that contains itself. The obvious reason for this is that if you were to remove the tab, you would lose access to the add-in and thus could never alter any customization you had made.
In addition to this, there is unfortunately a list of things that you cannot do due to the limitations of the underlying Microsoft technology (RibbonX) used by RibbonCustomizer™. There is no way around these limitations, which means that everyone customizing the Ribbon is limited by them.
Microsoft protected their own tabs and groups. This means that you cannot change the order of the Microsoft tabs (e.g. you cannot place the Insert tab before the Home tab), nor can you change the order of the Microsoft groups in their default locations (e.g. you cannot reorder the groups on the Home tab, but you can add any group to the Home tab and place it wherever you want it on the tab). Microsoft groups cannot be changed at all. You cannot use Microsoft contextual tabs as core tabs and vice versa. The groups on the Add-Ins tab that hold the UI for legacy (pre-2007) add-ins cannot be added to any other tab. You can, however, add them to the QAT. Last, but not least, any UI components added to your Ribbon by an add-in are not shown in the Customize Ribbon dialog, as Office does not provide a mechanism for providing this information to any add-in, including RibbonCustomizer™.