Customize the Action Ribbon Bar in Microsoft Outlook 2016, Applications such as Microsoft Office have been created to make our work life easy. However, these applications have millions of features that we are unaware of. Often times, we only stick to hotmail emails, adding calendars, using the word to type in something, and using excel for something or the other. But, to do this, we often end up going back and forth by finding these applications on our desktop first and then using them.
The most appropriate way of the commands and applications for Microsoft Office that we use every day is to customize the Ribbon Action settings for all products such as Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, Excel, and Word.
Before we go any further, ensure that the Ribbon is displayed since it is hidden by default in Outlook 2016.
To display the Ribbon and to change the display settings of the Ribbon for future use, select the Ribbon Display Option on the top right of your application. It will give you three options to choose from for your display settings:
- Auto-Hidden Ribbon – This option gives you optimum workspace and enables you to show the Ribbon as and when needed by clicking on the top of the application.
- Show Tabs – This option also gives you the most workspace by deleting the commands, however, it retains the tabs at the top, so you can easily access them with a single click.
- Show tabs and Commands – Last, this option enables you to see the tabs and the commands simultaneously.
How to Optimize the Office 2016 Ribbon or Menu Interface
Now, let us see how to customize the Ribbon to make our work and life easier. In the following example, we will be adding a “Choose Form” option to our “Home” tab in order to enable easy and quick set-up of a form email. To do this:
- Open your Outlook and click on “File” and click on “Options”
- Next, click on “Customize Ribbon”
- Let’s put the new button next to the “New Email Button” by highlighting the “Home” tab under “Customize the Ribbon” section on the right-hand side of your screen
- Click the “New Group” button that appears on the bottom of the window and a “New Group (custom)” button will appear
- Drag the “New Group” tab to the position you prefer. For this example, we will add it underneath the “New” button in “Home (Mail)” section
- You can keep the tab as “New Group” or you can rename it by highlighting the option, left-click your mouse and select “Rename”. In this example, we will rename the tab to “Form Emails”. After you rename the tab, click OK to save the settings
- Next, we add a command to our new button by clicking on “All Commands” from the drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the screen under “Choose Commands From”
- Under “All Commands,” scroll down to find “Choose Form” command (as per the example that we are selecting to try today), highlight the same, and ensure that the custom button you just created on the left is still highlighted
- Now, click on “Add” button that appears in the middle of the screen between the “Choose Commands from” and “Customize the Ribbon” section
- Once it is done, the “Choose Form” command will automatically appear under the new custom button.
Now, to make your outlook look more interesting, you can add a custom icon for the new command. Simply, click on the new custom tab you created, click on the “Choose Form” (or whatever you have named it) option, and click on rename. Pick the icon you like by highlighting it and clicking “OK” to close the window.
You can also try these steps with other Outlook applications such as OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word.
To Customize the Ribbon content in any of the above-mentioned applications, you simply have to highlight the desired command on the “Choose Commands From” list and “Add” it to the “Customize the Ribbon”list.
Additionally, you can unselect any items on the “Customize the Ribbon”list you don’t need any longer. For instance, if you decide that you do not wish to use the “Draw” option in OneNote, unselect the box against it and hit “OK”.
Furthermore, if you want to keep a tab but remove one of its components, click on the “+” sign to expand the list under the tab, highlight the component you don’t wish to keep anymore, hit “Remove”, and then hit “OK”.
- A Few More Easy Tips To Customize the Ribbon
Now, that we know about accessing, adding, andremoving items from the Ribbon, we should try to explore it a bit more and see what else can we do to customize the Ribbon. Below are some additional tips you can use to effectively utilize the Ribbon:
- Rearranging the tabs
Use the arrows in “Customize the Ribbon” section and conveniently move your tabs up and down to control how they appear in the ribbon. You can also use the context menu to do the same. Position the tab you use the most first, the second-important after the first, and so on and so forth. You can also try to reorganize the commands within the tabs the same way.
- Customizing it your own way
You can also personalize your Ribbon with just the tabs and commands that you require. For example, if you only ever utilize the Draw command in OneNote, create a new tab (add a New Group under the new tab if you like) and simply add individual commands.
You can also add individual commands that display under other tabs along with those that do not presently show in the Ribbon.
Next, regroup the commands in the order of your preference using the up and down arrows and rename it to what you like.
After the renaming is done, select the remaining tabs that you no longer need and press “OK”.
The final result is your own customized tab with commands you require, all arranged the exact way as you want them.
- Using icon over text
If you like to be more creative with the way your tabs look or if you prefer icons over texts to show in your ribbon, you can easily make this happen. Though the text on the main tabs can’t be hidden, you can substitute the texts with icons on the commands that you create.
For instance, if you are using OneNote, create a New Group (within a new tab or under an existing one) by clicking the corresponding button from the options available at the bottom. Then, add the commands by following the steps we explained before and when have successfully created the group/command, left-click on “Hide Command Labels”.
Once again, remember that this can only be done with commands that you created and not the main tabs that exist by default.
- Reviewing idle commands
In the “Choose Commands From” drop-down menu that shows on the left of your screen, select “Commands Not in the Ribbon”. This will display all the commands that are not in current use in your the Ribbon.