How to use Excel : Excel Basics – Exploring Excel Ribbon Tabs


While studying the different parts of Excel Ribbon we briefly discussed the tabs section visible on the ribbon. Here we'll have a look at each of the different tabs present on the ribbon and the different commands that are contained in that tab. Some of the tabs are present by default when we open Excel for the first time. There are few tabs that the users can add later on as per there needs. For example users can add the developer tab to the Excel ribbon if they need to write code for Excel. Some tabs called the contextual tabs appear when we add certain items on the worksheet. As we know that Excel allows us to customize ribbon in various ways - we can remove tabs present on ribbon and can also add our own tabs.

Different Excel Tabs

All the main actions and commands available the users are organized to form tabs at the top most portion of the Ribbon. Users can add or remove tabs as per their needs.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs

Here are the main tabs that are visible by default to the users.

Home :

This tab can be used to create, format and edit the spreadsheet. All the commands related to these features are grouped under this tab. The commands are grouped into groups like Clipboard, font, alignment, Styles etc.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs
Insert :

This tab is used while inserting special elements like charts, pivot tables, graphics etc. to the spreadsheet. Various groups in this tab are Tables, apps, charts, Reports etc.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs
Page Layout :

This tab has commands and options that can be used while printing a spreadsheet or while reordering graphics within the sheet. Commands in this tab are arranged in groups like Themes, page layout, Sheet options etc.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs
Formulas :

This is one of the most important tab on the Ribbon. These commands can be used to add formulas and functions to the spreadsheet and also for checking formula errors. This tab contains groups like Function library, formula auditing, calculation groups etc.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs
Data :

Excel is basically is a software for storing and analyzing data. Data tab thus contains the core commands for Excel. It contains commands for importing, querying, manipulating and displaying data in various manners. Some groups under this tab are External data, connections, Sort and Filter etc.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs
Review :

This tab contains commands that can be used by the reviewers of the spreadsheet for proofing, protecting etc. The Ink group on this tab is useful for devices like tablets, smartphones or those which have some sort of electronic input tablet.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs
View :

This tab is used for the display functions of the worksheet. The commands here are grouped into Workbook views, zoom, windows etc.

Apart from these seven standard tabs, some more tabs, which are part of the contextual tools, can also appear on the ribbon depending on the object you are working on. For e.g. if we select a chart in our worksheet – contextual tools with the name ‘Chart Tool’ appears above the ribbon. Two new tabs – Design and Format – also appear in the ribbon as they have commands related to charts.  As soon as we deselect the chart, these two tabs and the chart tools disappear from the ribbon.

Exploring Ribbon Tabs

Conclusion : 

The tabs that we discussed above are the default tabs that appear as we open Excel. As mentioned in the introduction there are some contextual tabs that appear only on adding some objects on the worksheet. We'll discuss each of such tabs in detail while studying the related topic.