Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope

Picture of Office RibbonWhen referring to Microsoft Office programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel, the Ribbon is a feature that replaces the traditional File menu. As can be seen in the image, the Ribbon dynamically changes based on what the user is currently doing. In this example, the Ribbon for "Write" is being displayed.

Below is an update version of the Ribbon introduced with Office 2010 and how the Ribbon appears in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word

Additional examples

As we mentioned before, the Ribbon changes depending on what you're doing in Word, Excel, or another Office program. For example, if you're working with images, the Ribbon displays all of the available modifications that can be performed on them.

How do I hide the Ribbon?

  1. Click the small down arrow at the very top of the window shown next to the printer icon in the above example. If a printer icon is not displayed, it would be next to the Undo or Redo (blue) arrow icon.
  2. In the menu that appears, select Minimize the Ribbon.

If there is not a Minimize the Ribbon option in that menu, look for an Up arrow just underneath the red X in the upper-right corner that closes the program window. Clicking the Up arrow, titled "Minimize the Ribbon," will hide the Ribbon. When the Ribbon is hidden, the Up arrow will change to a Down arrow and clicking it displays the Ribbon again.

Tip: Pressing Ctrl+F1 on the keyboard is a shortcut for hiding and showing the Ribbon.

Menu, Office button, Word processor terms