Customize the MS Word 2010 Ribbon by Adding Your Own Tab With Commands You Use Most Often

Saikat Basu 19-08-2011

We have seen quite a few ways to tweak MS Office 2010 for our own productive ends. Granted, the whole MS Office suite is a productivity tool to begin with, but there’s still some spanner work you can do to make it more personalized.


We have seen ways to customize the MS Office Quick Access toolbar How to Customize the MS Office 2010 Quick Access Toolbar The Quick Access Toolbar has been a part of MS Office since the 2003 version, but it has come to the forefront since the introduction of MS Office 2007 and more prominently with MS Office... Read More , we saw how to add tabs to MS Office How To Add Tabs To Microsoft Office & Improve Your Document Management Tabs are something which the guys at Redmond woke up late to. So far, it has escaped an introduction in MS Office; a feature I am sure many of you out there would want as... Read More and improve your document management, and we even went retro by getting back the classic ribbon-less look. In this Word tutorial on how to customize the Word 2010 ribbon, we stay devoted to the Ribbon, but improve our workflow by adding a favorites tab to the Ribbon with all our frequently used commands. Let’s fire up MS Word 2010 (this works for other MS Office applications too).

Your Own Favorites Tab Improves Your Workflow

You cannot change the default tab and groups on the Ribbon. But it’s very easy to add your own tab (and your own groups) with all your chosen commands. For example, there might be a task you do day in and day out. You might want to do it with as few clicks as possible. Customizing your own tab with the oft-used commands helps with your workflow. For example, I am a writer and blogger. Here’s how I would go about setting up a new tab on the Ribbon.

5 Steps To My Own Tab On The Ribbon

  • Select File – Options – Customize Ribbon. Or you can right-click on Ribbon and choose Customize the Ribbon.

customize word 2010 ribbon

  • Click on New Tab and then Rename if you want to rename it to something that’s more interesting than the dull ‘New Tab’.

customize word 2010

  • This tab is now your own. You can start populating them with commands. You can also create Groups for similar commands grouped together. Naming groups allows you to choose symbols from the dialog box.

customize word 2010

  • Commands can be picked up from and added to the groups from the list on the left which says – Choose commands from. To view all the commands available for you to pick, click the dropdown and select All Commands.
  • Select the command and click on Add to move under the particular group. As you can see in the above screen, I have selected commands that help me with my writing.
  • Use the arrow keys to arrange the commands in the order you want. Also, you can rearrange the entire tab order with the same arrow keys.

Oops…I Made A mistake

If you made a mistake or you just want to get back the original look, click on Reset to reset all customizations.

customize word 2010

Export Your Ribbon Customizations

You can export all your hard work to another computer (say, if a colleague likes your tab groups). Click Import/Export – Select Export All Ribbon And Quick Access Toolbar Customizations. Type in a name for your customizations file and click Save. The file is saved with an “.exportedUI” extension.

The customization file can be imported via the same button.


Free Customized Ribbons Available For Download

Microsoft Office 2010 has taken user feedback and has packaged the most commonly used commands in a Favorites file for all programs under the Office suite. This is how the Word 2010 customized Ribbon file looks like:

customize word 2010 ribbon

The file is available here. You can read more about it on Microsoft’s Office blog and also download the ones available for the other programs.

Do you feel that the Ribbon is friendlier now? Have you set up your own customized tab for productivity? Tell us about it.


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  1. Anonymous
    November 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Geez! How about letting us create custom icons for the macros we write so that we actually know which macro is which, rather than having to remember which macro belongs to whatever standard graphic icon that is shoved down our throats?  This is why I'm sticking with 2003.  It has a far superior user interface and is infinitely more configurable than 2007 or 2010.  2010 is better than 2007, but it ain't close to 2003.  So much for progress.

  2. Saikat Basu
    August 27, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Very true. Thanks for the comments. By now people should have got used to the Ribbon interface, but I guess not as tools like Classic Menu for Office 2010 still exist.

    • Gretsch001
      November 7, 2011 at 7:07 am

      From Mr. Basu's comment, I conclude that he believes in the concept that "Big Brother" knows what is best for the individual rather than the individual having the intelligence to make that decision for himself. 

      We are so fortunate to live in a country like America so we can have people like you and those myoptic software developers within Microsoft taking the time to look after our interests and tell us what is good for us lest we not have the intelligence to determine that for ourselves. 


      • Saikat Basu
        November 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm

        Agreed. Freedom is in choice and we all have our own to make.That's how the Open Source movement came about. This is in the end, just a simple tutorial.

  3. Hacklord99
    August 26, 2011 at 6:26 am

    You can also add some features can't be find on ribbon. You can locate these features on Options >> Customize Ribbon, and then select "Not in ribbon" or "All commands".
    If you don't like the ribbon inferface, you may find the third party software to bring back the old menus and toolbars.
    For example, Classic Menu for Office 2010. It applied to all Office programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, Visio, Project.

    • Aibek
      August 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

      thanks for the tip