Learn about the four basic components of the Ribbon User Interface in Microsoft Excel 2007.
Tags:microsoft excel 2007,ribbon user interface,total training,workbook,workspace
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For those of you who have used Microsoft Excel before, the first thing you will notice when you open up Excel is that Microsoft has done a way with the standard toolbars. That is you do not see the standard pull down menus that you typically see with the previous version of Excel. Instead, you will see this little interface here down the ribbon. The ribbon is a dramatic departure from the old way of selecting commands. Instead of having a drill into multiple levels of toolbars to find the command that you need, the ribbon brings out the most useful command out into the open allowing you to find your favorite commands and even discover some new once that you never knew existed.
Let us take a moment to explore the Ribbon a bit and get familiar with some of the new terminology that Microsoft use throughout our way. The Ribbon is made up of four basic components Tabs, Groups, Command Buttons and Dialog Launchers. Tabs contains group of commands that are closely related to core task impact. It helps to think of each tab as theme. For example, under the Review Tab, you will see that the commands there help you review and protect your spreadsheet. Consider the commands, Spell Check, Protect the Workbook and Track Changes. It is clear that theme of the Review Tab is protecting the integrity of your spreadsheet.
Now, we go through each Tab in a moment but one more thing about tabs. There are two types of Tabs, Standard Tabs which you see here and Contextual Tab which we will talk about in a minute. Groups contain such of command that are related by task that fall into the umbrella of that tabs core task. For example, under the Formulas tab you will see a group called Formula Auditing. This group contains commands that are designed to help you audit your formulas. Now, each group contains command buttons. These command buttons are objects that you click in order to select the command. So, in command buttons like the Wrap Text button, it directly performs an action. Other command button like the Table button on the Insert tab activates dialog boxes. These dialog boxes allow you to walk through a process in which to perform some actions. Other commands are found in sub menus like the face special command button. There are command button nonetheless. Finally, there are dialog launchers. These are button located in the lower right corner of certain groups. Clicking on any one of these activates the dialog box containing the full spectrum of options for a given group. For example, click the dialog launcher for the Font Group and you will get the format cell dialog box.
Now, those of you who have used previous version of Excel will note that most of this dialog launcher simply activates the old familiar dialog boxes giving you a nostalgic way to do things. Close that dialog box out. Now, take a look up here in the upper left hand corner of Excel. This Office icon is new to Excel 2007 and it is technically not part of the Ribbon per se but it is very much something new. The Office button activates the pull down menu containing all the higher level Excel command such as Open, Save, Print and Close. You will also find the Excel options dialog box allowing you to customize Excel program settings and we will talk about the Excel option box later in this lesson. Let us go ahead and close this out. Let us talk a little bit about each tab. By default, Excel is exposed to seven standard types where you use, the Home Tab, Inset Tab, Page Layout, Formulas, Data, Review and View. You may find that you have an Add-Ins and this is a remnant of any Add-Ins that you might have had in Excel 2003.
In Excel 2007, Add-Ins is put in to their own tab. So for example, I have Add-In called Flash Paper but if you do not have an Add-In or you did not have an Add-In in Excel 2003, you will not see this particular tab. These are not standard tab. The Home tab, now, remember when I told you the command found in each tab are related to each other or have a theme. Well, in the Home tab, the theme is basically commands that you use a lot. Not really in impressive theme but it is a useful one. You see, Microsoft want to create essential place to go when working with commands that are often used. This place as it turns out is the Home Tab. In this tab, you will find commands that deal with common actions like formatting, sorting, copying, inserting and deleting columns and rows.
The Insert tab, the theme of the Insert tab is basically creating embedded objects. That is to say the Insert tab contains this that allows you to create objects which are inserted or embedded on a spreadsheet. For example, Charts and Pivot Tables, these are both objects that are embedded and placed on to your spreadsheet. Other command that you will find here are Links, WordArt and Header and Footers. The Page Layout tab, the theme of the Page Layout tab is configuring the look of your spreadsheet. The Page Layout contains command that allow you to determine how your spreadsheet looks both on screen and when printed. The command that you will find here are Colors, Effect, Background, Orientations, Scaling and other sheet formatting options. The Formulas tab, take a guess of what the theme of the Formulas tab is. That is right! Formulas, this tab contain command that help you define control and audit formulas. Here, you will find a full library available at cell functions. For example, the financial functions or the logical functions any text functions. Also, you will find tools that will help you trace and audit your formulas.
The Data tab, the theme of the Data tab is interaction with data and data sources. The commands that you will find here enable you to integrate with external data sources such as text files, access databases and even the web. You will also find commands that group, sort and validate the data set in your spreadsheet. The Review tab, with command such as Spell Check, Protect Sheet, Protect Workbook and Track Changes, obviously, the theme of the review tab is protecting data integrity. The View tab, it is all about controlling the way you visually interact with your spreadsheet on the screen. The commands that you will find here allow you to zoom in and out for these columns and rows, view multiple workbooks at one time and control the view state of the spreadsheet. Now, do not be alarmed if you do not catch every single command that I just listed here. As we go through the series, you will quickly become familiar with each tab so just relax a little bit and let us start taking about Contextual tabs. Contextual tab are special types of tab that appear only when there are particular object that are selected for example, a Pivot Table or a Chart or a Shape. Now, these tabs contain commands that are specific to that selected object.
To see if contextual tab is on action, let us add a shape to an empty spreadsheet. I want to go up into the Insert Tab, click on Shapes and click on Rectangle. It is going to turn my mouse into cross. I am going to click on the spreadsheet anywhere. Now, a rectangle appears. Well, it looks like a square but it is supposed to be a rectangle but you will also notice that there is a new tab up top called Format. Now, this Format tab is not a standard tab but a Contextual tab. This tab has all the commands that it takes to allow you to format this particular shape. If I click anywhere else on the spreadsheet, that tab disappears. If I click back on the shape, the tab reappears. That is a Contextual tab that is associated with this particular shape associated with shapes in general.