Dude, Where’s My Ribbon?


MS Word with ribbon

Microsoft Office products are replete with keyboard shortcuts that are designed to save us time while working on our documents, but sometimes they can “inexplicably” trigger actions that flummox the user. For me, recently, I’ve been experiencing this flummuxation with the Office Ribbon.

Try this. Open Word (or Powerpoint, or Excel) and press the following keys: Ctrl+Shift+F1.


MS Word without the ribbon. All it needs is a blue background…

Neat, huh? If you’re in Word, you’ve got a text editor. If you’re in PowerPoint, there’s that much more space to design in. No fuss, no muss.

This can be a useful feature, but annoying if you don’t know how you got there. That’s because a hidden ribbon works just like a hidden task bar. Move your mouse to where that ribbon once dominated your screen, and it will appear to let you complete one command. Again, a handy feature when you’re putting stuff to digital paper and could use the space to focus on the task.

Ah, memories!

Ah, memories!

But if that’s not the case, and you were planning on using that ribbon to put some finishing touches on your document…

Ever accidentally switch an Office product to full screen? Feels like that.

I don’t know how I managed to press Ctrl+Shift+F1 and hide the ribbon in the first place. I might not have. I might have clicked on that small, unassuming chevron in the ribbon’s far right corner.  It took this article to figure out how to get the ribbon back.

And now that I know this, I have a new Office feature I’ll be using when writing or designing.

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