The Excel 2007 ribbon – a totally new look!!!

You just loaded Office 2007 on your computer and opened Excel 2007 and what is this that you are seeing?  Where is your menu bar and the toolbars?  How are you going to be able to get anything done now that the look is totally different?  Well, Microsoft decided that instead of memorizing where all of the shortcuts and great tools are hidden they would now put them out there on “ribbons” for us to be able to spot with just a glance.  But how do you know which ribbon you should be looking at?  When you open Excel, you see seven ribbons.  The Home ribbon has the most common tools that you will use when you are creating an Excel spreadsheet.  And most of the buttons on this ribbon have drop-down arrows that will give you more choices so there is less memorization needed.

Home Ribbon in Excel 2007

The rest of ribbons are organized logically by topics.  And more ribbons appear as you need them.  For example, assume you are working with the following simple list in Excel 2007:

Simple List

Put your cursor inside your list and go to the Insert ribbon and click on Table button in the first section of that ribbon.

Now your list is converted to a table and a new Table Tools Design ribbon appears to the right of the View ribbon. The Table Tools Design ribbon provides buttons to accomplish the common formatting tasks that you do with a list for ease of comprehension.  Right next to the column headings, there are drop-down arrows which allow you to filter your list to show just what you were looking for. Now you can even have Excel check for duplicates in your lists.  Look for Remove Duplicates in the Table Tools Design ribbon.

These are just so many new features that are now available with a click:

  • Build a chart with just one click (Insert ribbon).
  • Check the cell references of your formulas using the formula auditing tools (Formula ribbon).
  • Add new Smart Graphics (Insert ribbon again).

What wonderful tools to be able to make those spreadsheets more professional in appearance.  It may take a little time getting use to the new ribbons in Excel, but it is definitely worth the effort.

The ribbon is covered in Webucator’s  Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2007 class.

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