How to Use the Ribbon in Microsoft Word 2013

If you’re unfamiliar with the Ribbon in MS Word 2013, this article will help fill the gap. The Ribbon is the main menu’s components which are placed at the top of the window. These include File, Home, Insert, Design, Page Layout, Preferences, Mailings, Review, and View. Additional buttons nearby help to manage them. Let’s clear up how to work with the Ribbon.

First of all, take a look at the Ribbon.

You can change the interface using the icon named Touch/Mouse which provides more space between the Ribbon and buttons.


Now, you can see the Ribbon area. It is divided into several tabs; the active one is highlighted after you press it.

There are a number of groups in each tab containing buttons which are necessary for work. Their names are shown below each group. For example, in Preferences you can see Table of Contents and the buttons grouped there, such as Table of Contents, Add Text, and Update.

Reference Tab

Buttons such as the Table of Contents can be dropped-down to show a long list of commands. After pressing any of them in the popped-up window, you can manage your Table of Contents. Some of the commands can be enabled. For example, to display notes by the Show Notes button, you need to insert them first.

The Ribbon commands are connected to one another. If you insert a picture by using one of them, you will see that the Format tab will become highlighted so you can edit that picture. To escape from that tab, just make the picture inactive by clicking somewhere inside the document space.

You can navigate between the Ribbon options and use them as you need. To format the Ribbon’s groups of buttons, use the small box with arrow at the right side each one. When you need to create Paragraph settings, for instance, you can use the dialog window that comes up.

If you need to hide the Ribbon, you can use the button with arrow on the right side of the window named Collapse the Ribbon. You’ll see the screen with the Ribbon hidden after pressing that.

Ribbon Hidden

However, the Ribbon will re-appear after choosing a main menu command. Click Insert if you need to insert a picture, and notice that it will disappear after completing this command. To bring the Ribbon back, click View, and then the icon Pin the ribbon on the right.

The group of buttons in the right upper corner of the window contains the Help button and Ribbon Display Options, such as Auto-Hide Ribbon, Show Tabs, and Show Tabs and Commands. Pressing the Auto-Hide Ribbon makes the Ribbon disappear and return after placing the cursor at the top of the window. You can use this option if you need more working space for your document.

To customize the Ribbon, click the last empty space window on the right, behind all groups. The menu Options with Customize Ribbon will show. Here you can customize the ribbon according to your needs.

Word Options



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