Minimize That Darn Office Ribbon for More Room on Your Desktop

If you are using Office 2007 or 2010, The Ribbon is now a part of your life. Some of you will be happy about this – some of you won’t.
The Ribbon was introduced with Office 2007. It replaced the standard Office toolbars and menus with a very large toolbar filled with graphical representations of control elements or commands. Commands are organized in logical groups by functionality and are collected together under tabs. Each tab relates to a type of activity, such as writing or laying out a page.
There are good intentions behind the Ribbon – honest! It was designed to help you more quickly find the commands you want to use when you are creating and formatting your documents.
If you are learning Office, you may like the Ribbon as it can be helpful to find commands you don’t use that often. However, if you are a power user, you probably don’t like it – likely because it takes up a huge amount of space on your desktop, especially if you are working on a smaller laptop screen.
If you want to go Ribbon-less for more desktop real estate, you can minimize the ribbon by pressing Ctrl+F1. This will make the Ribbon disappear or be “minimized.” When the Ribbon is minimized, the Tabs will still be visible. When it is minimized, pressing on a Tab will make the Ribbon appear, and it will disappear again after you press a command.
If the Ribbon is minimized, pressing Ctrl+F1 again will bring it back.
So there you go, if you want more space on your Office 2007 or 2010 desktop, remember to press Ctrl+F1 to minimize the Ribbon.


  1. In Windows you can also double click on any Ribbon tab and the Ribbon will minimize. Single click a tab to get it to show up just so you can select and option and then it will minimize again. Double click again to get it back persistently.

  2. @Catherine Good find re the clicking and double-clicking. Was not aware of that.

    I also find it useful to add my most commonly used commands to the Quick Access Toolbar

    e.g. I added the Find Contact in Outlook which lets me quickly find a contact without having to show the Ribbon again.


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