The Ribbon in Microsoft Office applications provides an easy way of accessing features, but takes up a lot of space on the screen. If you want to maximize the amount of space you have for your documents, you can easily show and hide the ribbon on demand.

When the ribbon is minimized, only the names of the tabs display. You can click on any tab name to drop down that tab.

To minimize or maximize the ribbon, double-click on any of the tab names. You can also press “Ctrl + F1” to minimize or maximize the ribbon.

Another option is to right-click on any tab name. If the ribbon is currently minimized, a check displays before the “Collapse the Ribbon” option on the popup menu. To maximize the ribbon again, select the “Collapse the Ribbon” option so there is NO check mark before the option.

When the ribbon is maximized, there is an arrow pointing up in the lower-right corner of the ribbon. Click this arrow to minimize the ribbon.

To access a tab while the ribbon is minimized, simply click on it. Once you have selected an option on the tab, the ribbon minimizes again.

If you decide to maximize the ribbon while a tab is open on the minimized ribbon, click the thumbtack icon in the lower-right corner of the ribbon, or press “Ctrl + F1”.

These settings are specific to each Office application, so you can set the ribbon to be minimized in Word, as an example, but not in PowerPoint or Excel.

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Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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