Microsoft Office 2010: How to Customize Your Ribbon

A little-known customization for Microsoft Office 2010 will save time and aggravation. You can easily create a customized ribbon with your most often-used functions, putting everything at your fingertips.

While this type of customization was difficult with previous Office versions, Office 2010 makes it easy. The ribbon can be customized in all Office 2010 applications including Word, Outlook, Excel, OneNote, Publisher, Access and PowerPoint. This customization will take less than 10 minutes and will save you time and energy in the long run.

Just click on File and choose Options. Then choose Customize Ribbon.

Word010 Options menu to customize the Ribbon
The left side of the screen shows you the current tabs. You can use the Add and Remove buttons to customize any or all of these. What is often even more useful is the ability to create your own new groups and tabs by using the buttons on the bottom.  I have created a tab called “Favorites” which contains quick links to all of my everyday tasks in each program.

You can also easily share your customized ribbons using the Import and Export buttons. While the exports all worked seamlessly, in the case of Outlook, when I tried to import my customized ribbon to put it on another computer, I found that I had to rename the file olkmailread.exportedUI to get it to import properly.

The only disappointment is that you cannot just import or export one group or tab. If you want your customized ribbon to appear on another PC, you will have to transfer the entire customization at once.


  • Well that’s useful, I suppose, but for me the only way to improve the Office ribbon would be to cut it up into little pieces and throw it on the junk heap. I thought it was unusable the first time I saw it, and I still feel that way after enduring Office 2007 for a couple of years. As far as I’m concerned, forcing the ribbon onto Office users was Microsoft’s first jump-the-shark moment. Of course, no one will remember that one for long, not after the company in all its wisdom elected to attempt a soaring leap over an entire armada of Selachimorpha with the utterly ridiculous Windows 8.

  • We so totally need to replace that screenshot : ) I can’t see it!

    sorry readers! just noticed this!