Excel ribbon is the area at the top of the worksheet that contains most of the frequently used commands.
In the ribbon, we have different tabs (such as the ‘Home’ tab or the ‘Insert’ tab), and within each tab, we have the relevant commands.
Most Excel users would find everything they need somewhere in the ribbon in Excel.
But what if you do not want to show the ribbon (as it takes considerable space on your screen), or you do not see the ribbon and you want to get it back?
In this tutorial, I will cover how to show or hide the ribbon in Excel. I will show you all the different options that are available to you along with the keyboard shortcuts that’ll make it really easy to quickly show or hide the ribbon in Excel.
Show/Unhide the Ribbon
By default, Excel shows the tabs as well as the options under the tab at all times.
And it also allows you to hide the ribbon so you only see the tab’s names (with the options under the tabs not showing), or you don’t see anything (neither the tabs nor the options under the tabs).
Let’s learn how to show the complete ribbon in both cases.
Show Full Ribbon When Tabs are Showing
When the options under the tabs had been collapsed, you will see the tabs name but you won’t see the options within each tab (as shown below).
However, when you click on the tab name, the options/commands within that tab would appear.
As soon as you click anywhere in the worksheet, the commands ribbon would disappear (leaving us with only the tabs name)
Here is how to un-collapse the ribbon and always show the tab names and the commands in the selected tab:
- Right-click on any of the tab’s name
- Click on the ‘Collapse the Ribbon’ option
Once you are done with the above steps, the commands strip (which shows the commands for the selected tab) would always be visible.
You can also use the keyboard shortcut Control + F1 to collapse or uncollapse the ribbon in Excel. To use this, hold the Control key and press the F1 key. It works as a toggle, so using it once would collapse the ribbon, and using it again would uncollapse the ribbon
Show Full Ribbon When Tabs are Also Hidden
In case you cannot even see the tab names, follow the below steps to show the ribbon and keep it visible all the time:
- Click at the top of the worksheet (on the green strip above the formula bar). This will temporarily show the ribbon
- Click on the Ribbon Display Options icon (the small downward pointing arrow at the bottom right of the ribbon)
- Click on the ‘Always Show Ribbon’ option
Your above steps would bring back the complete ribbon as well as the Quick Access Toolbar and keep it visible.
You can also use the keyboard shortcut Control + Shift + F1 to completely show or hide the ribbon. To use this, hold the Control and the Shift key and then hit the F1 key
Collapse the Ribbon to Only the Tabs
If you want to get more worksheet space on your screen, you can choose to hide the commands that show in the ribbon while keeping the tab’s name visible.
Below are the steps to do this:
- Right-click on any of the tab names in the ribbon
- Click on the ‘Collapse the Ribbon’ option
The above steps would keep the tab names visible, but as soon as you click anywhere on the worksheet, the commands in the ribbon would be hidden.
You can do the same thing using a keyboard shortcut Control + F1
Unhide the Ribbon Completely
You can also activate the full-screen mode where the ribbon is completely hidden (including the tab names and the Quick Access Toolbar)
Below are the steps to completely hide the ribbon:
- Click on any of the tabs in the ribbon
- Click on the ribbon display options icon at the bottom right end of the ribbon
- Click on Full-screen Mode
As soon as you do this, the ribbon will stop showing any worksheet area would expand so that more rows are shown on the screen.
You can also do the same thing by using the keyboard shortcut Control + Shift + 1
Note: The methods that I have covered in this tutorial will also work in other Office apps such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.
Important Keyboard Shortcut to Show or Hide the Ribbon
|What it Does||Keyboard Shortcut|
|Show/Hide the Ribbon while keeping the tabs visible||CONTROL + F1|
|Show/Hide the Ribbon completely (including the tabs and the Quick Access toolbar)||CONTROL + SHIFT + F1|
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Show/Hide Ribbon Options in Excel
Below are some other questions you may have about the visibility of a ribbon in Excel:
While I can see the ribbon, I do not see the Quick Access Toolbar. How do show the toolbar?
To get the Quick Access Toolbar back, right-click on any of the tabs and then click on ‘Show Quick Access Toolbar’ option
While I can see the ribbon, I do not see a specific tab. How do I get it back?
If you think that one or more tabs are missing, it could be because they have been activated in the ‘Customize the Ribbon’ settings.
To get it back, right-click on any of the tabs, click on the ‘Customize the Ribbon’ option, and then in the Excel Options dialog box that opens up, enable that tab by checking the checkbox next to it.
You can see how to do this in this tutorial here.
Why can I not see the Contextual tab?
Contextual tabs are only visible when the specific element/object is selected.
For example, contextual tabs related to Pivot Table would show up when you select a cell in the Pivot Table. Similarly, contextual tabs or charts would show up when you click on a chart.
If you cannot see the contextual tab, it’s likely that you have not selected the cell/object that makes the contextual tab show up.
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