Add Favorites to the Ribbon

By Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D.

Q. There are Excel features that I use often, and it would be beneficial if all of them were in one place. Is there a way of doing that?

A. You can add all your favorite or frequently used Excel features in one tab on your Ribbon. This allows a quick and easy way to access those features without clicking through and drilling down in multiple tabs.

To create a custom tab on your Ribbon, go to File, Options, Customize Ribbon. Under Customize the Ribbon:, select Main Tabs and choose New Tab toward the bottom of the window. The Customize the Ribbon window should look similar to the one in the screenshot below.

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After clicking New Tab, a new tab and a new group will show in the window as being part of the Ribbon. You can add more groups to the custom tab by choosing New Group toward the bottom of the window.

Right-click on New Tab (Custom) and rename your custom tab. I will name mine Favorites. Next, right-click on New Group (Custom) and rename your custom group. I will name mine Editing. I will also add a new group and name it Miscellaneous. You can have your custom tab appear in any order on your Ribbon by holding down the left-click on the custom tab and dragging it within the Main Tabs area of the window. At this point, my new tab and groups within the Customize the Ribbon window look like the screenshot below.

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The next step is to add the Excel features to the custom group(s). The Excel features are listed on the left side of the Customize the Ribbon window. I recommend choosing All Commands under Choose commands from: to see all of your options.

To add my favorite editing features to my custom editing group, I select the Editing (Custom) group from the right side of the window, select Custom Margins from the left side of the window, then choose Add. I also add Shape Fill by following the same steps. Lastly, I add the features Add a Digital Signature, Freeze Panes, Select Visible Cells, Text Box, and Show Gridlines to my Miscellaneous (Custom) group.

At this point, my Editing (Custom) group and Miscellaneous (Custom) group within the Customize the Ribbon window appear as they do in the screenshot below.

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Click OK. The Ribbon, the new custom tab, and the new custom groups look like the screenshot at bottom right.

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The Customize Ribbon option is also available in other Microsoft Office applications. Note that this content was based on Microsoft Office 365 for PCs. Other versions of Microsoft Office may work differently.


Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D., MBA, is an associate professor of accounting at the Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University.

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