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Webucator's Free Upgrading to Microsoft Word 2010 Tutorial

Lesson: The Ribbon

Welcome to our free Upgrading to Microsoft Word 2010 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Upgrading to Microsoft Word 2010 course.

In this lesson, you will learn all about the Ribbon in Word 2010.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about the Ribbon in Microsoft Word 2010.
  • Learn about on-demand tools on the Ribbon.

Exploring the Ribbon

The Ribbon is the display you see at the top of the Microsoft Word window. It is your primary interface with Word. It allows you to access most of the commands available to you in Word. The Ribbon is composed of three parts: Tabs, Groups and Commands.


Microsoft Word is a powerful program which is used to create many different types of documents, including articles, letters, books, contracts, marketing documents and much more. Microsoft Word has hundreds of commands for working with different documents. To make it easier for users to find the specific commands they are looking for, commands are organized onto seven main tabs:

  1. Home. The Home tab includes commands for formatting documents.
  2. Insert. Use the Insert tab to insert pages, tables, pictures, links, headers & footers, custom text and symbols, and more.
  3. Page Layout. Use the Page Layout Tab to change your margins, change the page background, add columns, change the page orientation, and more.
  4. References. Use the References tab to add a table of contents, add footnotes, add a bibliography, and more.
  5. Mailings. Use the Mailings tab to create labels, start a mail merge, and more.
  6. Review. Use the Review tab to check spelling and grammar, track and accept or reject changes, compare documents, and more.
  7. View. Use the View tab to change your document view, show the Ruler or navigation pane, zoom in or out, and more.

Note that the File menu is not the same as a tab. The File menu takes you to the Backstage view, where you manage, rather than make changes to, your document. The Backstage view is covered in the next lesson.

Tool Tabs

In addition to the main tabs, there are numerous tool tabs which include less commonly used commands. Individual tool tabs are covered in detail in our intermediate and advanced Microsoft Word classes. For now you should know:

  • That they exist. Some of the most commonly used tool tabs are:
    • SmartArt
    • Chart
    • Drawing
    • Picture
    • Table
    • Header & Footer
  • That they will appear when you select commands which have related tool tabs. For example, when you insert a table, two table-specific tool tabs (Design and Layout) will appear:


To further organize the many commands available in Microsoft Word, commands are organized in groups on each tab. Each group contains three or more related commands. The following table lists the groups found on each tab:

Tab Group
  1. Clipboard
  2. Font
  3. Paragraph
  4. Styles
  5. Editing
  1. Pages
  2. Tables
  3. Illustrations
  4. Links
  5. Header & Footer
  6. Text
  7. Symbols
Page Layout
  1. Themes
  2. Page Setup
  3. Page Background
  4. Paragraph
  5. Arrange
  1. Table of Contents
  2. Footnotes
  3. Citations & Bibliography
  4. Captions
  5. Index
  6. Table of Authorities
  1. Create
  2. Start Mail Merge
  3. Write & Insert Fields
  4. Preview Results
  5. Finish
  1. Proofing
  2. Language
  4. Tracking
  5. Changes
  6. Compare
  7. Protect
  8. OneNote
  1. Document Views
  2. Show
  3. Zoom
  4. Window
  5. Macros

In some groups, you will see a button in the lower right corner, next to the group name. This is the Dialog Box Launcher. Opening the group's Dialog Box will give you access to additional commands associated with that group:


Commands are controls that enable you to accomplish specific tasks, such as:

  1. Bolding a word.
  2. Adding a list.
  3. Inserting a picture.
  4. Adding page numbers.

On-demand Tools on the Ribbon

One of the new features in Word 2010 is tools on the Ribbon that appear on demand, as you work. These tools will appear automatically as you work in your document. They will be relevant to what you are doing at the time.

For example, if you are working with a table in your Word document, when you click in the table, you will notice that the Design and Layout tabs, along with the Table Tools, will appear on the Ribbon.

Another example would be if you were working with a chart in your document. When you click in the chart, you will see that the Ribbon now shows the Design, Layout, and Format tabs, along with Chart Tools.

When you click away from the table, chart, or other feature, the on-demand tools will disappear, and the standard tabs will remain.