How to Hide, or Collapse, the Ribbon in Office 2010?

Curtis Sawin over at Office Resource blog today published a new 'how to' to help user migrating from Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003 environments to Office 2010 -- and to get them rid off the 'ribbon' UI to imitate previous user interface. "One strategy to help users ease into this transition is to […]

Curtis Sawin over at Office Resource blog today published a new 'how to' to help user migrating from Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003 environments to Office 2010 -- and to get them rid off the 'ribbon' UI to imitate previous user interface. "One strategy to help users ease into this transition is to hide, or collapse, the ribbon," stated Sawin.

Check out the screen shots below -- here is an image of Excel 2010 in its default state.

Below is an image of Excel 2010 with the ribbon collapsed.

Note the red circles in the upper right hand corner of the Excel 2010 images. This toggle arrow can be used to manually expand or collapse the ribbon, providing your users the ability to customize the interface to their preference. Additionally, CTRL+F1 can be used to expand/collapse the ribbon.

Customizing Office 2010 Setup to collapse the ribbon

When deploying Office 2010 to your users, it's possible to create a customized installation to have the ribbon collapsed by default when your users first open an Office application. You can accomplish this by adding specific registry keys into your setup package.

For most Office applications, there is a single registry value that controls the ribbon appearance.

Here is the registry value:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\Toolbars\\QuickAccessToolbarStyle

In the above value, <AppName> is any of the following values:

  • Access
  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • PowerPoint
  • Project
  • Publisher
  • Visio
  • Word

The following table defines the available values for the "QuickAccessToolbarStyle" registry value.

A REG_DWORD value of 4 (shown below) will collapse the ribbon and has the same effect as pressing CTRL+F1 or selecting the toggle arrow.

"Outlook provides a bit more customization. There are 24 different registry keys that control the ribbon and quick access toolbar. This is because there are so many different types of items and modules in Outlook that the product team had to create multiple ribbons. While this implementation is generally transparent to end-users, this complexity surfaces here. Thus, if you want to collapse the ribbon for Outlook, you'll need to determine the specific Outlook window that you want collapsed," explained Sawin.

"The below table outlines the different registry values that manipulate the visibility of the ribbon." Note: All of these values are under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\Toolbars\Outlook

Office Customization Tool (OCT) can be used to add these registry keys just like any other registry key. Adding registry entries via the OCT is a pretty straightforward process.