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MS Office tip eludes me for 2 year

Occasionally it takes time to find those great shortcuts that makes life easier. Recently I found one in Microsoft Office 2010. It was such an ah-hah moment that I have to share it with you.

It was a breeze to customize early versions of MS-Office (through 2003) to meet your needs. You could change buttons on the tool bar in each MS-Office application (Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.). But when Microsoft came out with the Ribbon to replace the toolbar in Office 2007, we lost flexibility to customize the software to meet our daily needs. The Ribbon was just not that flexible. If you wanted to put your favorite tools in front of you at all times, you had to add it in the title bar ? which didn?t have much room, and mostly isn?t as good.

In MS-Office 2010, they enhanced the way you can modify the Ribbon. Unfortunately, they also hid this huge feature. So you probably didn?t know you could even change the Ribbon. Let?s open the curtain on it.

The Ribbon consists of a bunch of tabs, the one on the far left on all applications is the File tab, to its immediately right is the Home tab. The Home tab has a good general set of tools, divided into ?Groups?; and each group has a set of buttons or commands. Let?s create a new tab for you, and place your favorite tools in groups that you define. I?ll show you by creating a Radin tab in MS-Word, with groups and tools that I like.

Start by clicking on the File tab; then choosing Options from the menu. When the Options dialog box opens, click on ?Customize Ribbon? from the left-side menu. This brings up a screen where you?ll see an outline of your current Ribbon configuration on the right, and a set of items that you can choose to put on your Ribbon on the left.

Click the [New Tab] button; then right click on it and select ?Rename? so you can call it what you want. I called my David; then dragged it to the top of the list, so it shows up between the File and Home tabs on the left side of my Ribbon. Now you have an empty tab on your Ribbon. It?s time to fill it in.

Notice that when you created the tab, it also created a new group with nothing in it. Highlight that group by clicking on it; then choose a command from the list on the left to place in that group. I want a clipboard group, so I?ll right click on the group, rename it to ?Clipboard?, then choose cut, copy, paste, and format painter commands from the left. To add them, simply highlight the one you want to add, and click the [Add>>] button. If you don?t find a command you want, change the drop-down at the top, which will show different commands.

If you change the drop-down to ?All tabs?, you?ll be able to copy over entire groups from the other tabs by dragging them to the list on the right. When you?re done, click [OK].

You can now create as many groups as you want and fill them with your favorite commands. You can also modify existing tabs instead of creating your own.

The key is to first open the window type that you want to modify. So if you want your new tab to show up when you?re creating a new message in Outlook, start from the new message window. If you want to change your MS-Word Ribbon, start in MS-Word.

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