Go Wide

July 16, 2021 - by Bill Jelen

Go Wide

Problem: My ribbon looks different than my co-workers.

Strategy: Invest in a wide-screen monitor. The Excel experience dramatically improves at a 1440x900 or 1920x1080 resolution.

When you reduce the size of the Excel window, Excel automatically starts consolidating ribbon options into smaller icons and then groups. The next four figures show details of the Home tab of the ribbon at different sizes.

At full width, the Cell Styles gallery shows 10 tiles: Normal Bad, Good, Neutral, Calculation, Check Cell, Explatory, Input, Linked Cell, and Note.
Figure 19. At 1920 wide, five columns of the gallery are shown

The Cell Styles gallery is reduced to four tiles: Normal, Bad, Good, and Neutral.
Figure 20. At a smaller screen, the cell styles gallery is a dropdown.

The Cell Styles gallery eventually collapses to a single drop-down.
Figure 21. Eventually, the entire Styles group becomes a dropdown..

When the Excel window is less than 300 pixels wide, the Ribbon disappears completely.
Figure 22. If the Excel window is too small, the Ribbon disappears.

If you are the go-to person for solving Excel problems and you are helping a co-worker over the phone without using GoToMeeting, there will be some frustration as you tell them to look for the Bad, Good, Neutral tiles and they can only see a Styles dropdown.

Use a Wheel Mouse to Scroll Through The Ribbon Tabs

If you point your mouse at the ribbon and scroll the wheel, you will quickly move from Home to Insert to Page Layout and so on.

Why Do The Charting Ribbon Tabs Keep Disappearing?

Occasionally, new tabs will appear on the right side of the ribbon. These tabs appear when the current selection includes SmartArt graphics, charts, drawings, pictures, pivot tables, pivot charts, worksheet headers, tables, ink, or when you are in the legacy Print Preview mode.

These new tabs will stay visible as long as the object stays selected. If you click outside of your pivot table or chart, the tabs will disappear. If you are looking at an object and cannot find the tools necessary to edit the object, click the object to bring the tools back.

Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of:
Excel Dynamic Arrays Straight to the Point 2nd Edition

Fifteen months after Dynamic Arrays debuted for Office Insiders, the functions are being released to General Availability. This second edition of the book has been updated with new examples: see how Dynamic Arrays make XLOOKUP better. The chapter on the logic behind arrays has been expanded.