How-To Geek

Create a Customized Tab on the Office 2010 Ribbon

Some MS Office users were put off a bit by the Ribbon feature in 2007 for being cumbersome and confusing. Today we look at a cool new feature in Office 2010 that allows you to create your own custom tabs with specific commands for easier document creation.

Create a Customized Tab

In our example we’re using Word, but you can create a custom tab in the other Office apps as well. To do so, right-click on the Ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon.


The Word Options screen opens up and from here you can manage a lot of customization options.


We want to create a new customized tab, so click on the New Tab button.


Now give it a name…


Now just drag the commands you want to add from the left column over to your new custom group.


You have every command available to choose from. You can select specific groups or all commands from the dropdown menu on the left.


That is all there is to it…now you have your own customized tab with the commands you use most often to help you work more efficiently. In this example We didn’t add a whole lot of commands, but you can customize it with as many as you need. You can also create other tabs with different sets of commands too.


When you create a customized tab in one application, it’s only going to be in that app. For example if you create on in Word, it’s not going to show in Excel as commands differ between apps. If you want a custom tab in another Office app you’ll need to create one for it.


Another very cool thing you can do is export the customizations to use on another machine or pass them to a coworker. To export the customizations, go to the Customize Ribbon section and at the bottom of the right field click Import/Export then Export all customizations. Then save the file to a location on your hard drive.


To import the settings to another machine, go into Ribbon Customizations and select Import customizations file… then browse the the file you exported.


You’ll be prompted to confirm you want to import he customizations…


After confirming the choice now you’ll see the customization show up on the other machine. This is very handy if you work on several machines throughout the day and want to easily bring your customized tabs with you.


If you find yourself using a lot of specific commands throughout the day, creating your own customized tab will help access them more quickly. If you want to test out Office 2010 it’s currently in Public Beta and can be downloaded for free.

Download Office 2010 Beta

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 03/5/10

Comments (10)

  1. Butch

    very nice…

  2. SquareWheel

    It’s a pretty obvious feature, did it really need a how-to? But yeah, I don’t see why people complain about the ribbon. It’s so much more intuitive and customizable than the old menu interface.

  3. Kai

    In the past I was not only able to design my own icons for macro buttons on custom toolbars, but I could also place those toolbars anywhere on the screen or snap them to any side. The ribbon has lost user friendliness and is just not as flexible as the old menus and toolbars. In our company most of us hate the ribbon – my coworkers and I have now drawn the consequences and switched to Open Office. …. What a breath of fresh air that is. It’s not only cheaper but also does everything we need. Bye-bye Microsoft

  4. Steve

    Kai, I’m with you. Word 2007 was a huge step backward in productivity for me. Using it was like being a carpenter or a plumber who has acquired a lot of tools, then being forced to leave them all behind when I worked on a brand new building. Now I’m trying to research whether or how much of this feature has been restored in Office 2010.

  5. Jason

    I liked the ribbon when it came out in 2007, it was nice. however i noticed that there was no customiseability in the ribbon at all. i tried 2010 beta which has a customisation tool as shown above. It is a laughing stock! Don’t be fooled by the nice ‘mycustomtab’ at the top. only 5 commands all nicely lined. Hmph! Try duplicating the Home tab for instance with all those small buttons. even if you put them in exactly the same order, guess what it does. instead of putting them horizontally in order like the real Home tab and how any decent company would put them, the customisation tool puts them VERTICALLY! look how gay it looks. next time you get office 2010, or get to try it. try duplicating the home tab. then you’ll see how silly a tool it is.

  6. Betty

    I’m using Office 2010 and creating a customized ribbon is very easy, but is there a way to enlarge the icons on the Quick Access Toolbar at the top?

  7. Jacquie

    Help! I created a custom tab, easy, no problem with that. My problem is that I added the categorize command it is greyed out and I cannot use it. Anyone have an idea how to fix this?


  8. flamaest

    Can somebody just provide a link the classic TAB exportedUI files for MS Office 2003 for us to use in office 2007/2010?. searching online, everybody just wnats to make a buck online with silly Classic Tab installers which do nothing more than inport exportedUI files for you.

    Don’t give me a ribbon how to guide, just give me free exportedUI files. I should not have to pay anyone for this, it is free XML, MS should have included this to begin with.

  9. Ravi

    Very useful! Well explained. Keep doing it more.

  10. Saudade

    I find the ribbon marginally useful since I CANNOT DELETE all the extraneaous stuff on the toolbar! So I end up with more things to crowd my vision than I started with… in the 2003 and 2007, at least I could delete most of those items that I never use… now I just get dizzy looking for the one I need!

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