Customizing Ribbon: Creating Learning Content

This article is relevant if you capture screenshots of Office ribbon for content creation.

customizing ribbon for content creation by Dr. Nitin Paranjape

Estimated reading time 3 min

The Need

If you create training material on for Office tools, it is necessary to capture the menus and dialogs. I am assuming that you are using SnagIt. For infrequent usage, the Snipping tool or OneNote screenshot option is good enough. But for professional work, there is no substitute to SnagIt.

When ribbon screenshot is taken, two things need to be shown: The TAB and the Command (or button). For example, if Format Painter is to be shown, the Home tab also needs to be shown. Format Painter button is right below the Home tab. Therefore, both can be seen in one screenshot.


While capturing a command which is NOT near the tab, capturing the image becomes difficult. For example if the Find and Replace buttons are to be shown, although they are in the Home tab, they are at the other end of the ribbon. Therefore, they cannot be shown in one screenshot.


Now it requires two separate screenshots – one for the tabs and another for the buttons. Additional effort goes in combining them.

It is possible to keep images of all tabs in the library (in SnagIt) and reuse it. But using Ribbon Customization I found a simpler method.

The solution

Customize the ribbon. Move the tab to a position which is near the option being captured. Then take the screenshot. After your work is done, reset the customization.

Read the article Did you know: You can change all the menus in Office? for details about ribbon customization.

Here I will show how to get the View menu in Word to show near the actual views.

Right click on the ribbon and choose the View tab from the list on the right side. Use the Up arrow to move it to the first position. Click Ok to close the dialog. Please note that the FILE menu is not customizable. Therefore, the View tab is actually in the second position.

image  image

Now the buttons are near it. So one screenshot will suffice.


Resetting the customization

Of course after a while the original order of ribbon tabs will get jumbled up. But no worries. In the ribbon customization dialog there is a reset option. In fact there are two options.

One resets only the currently selected tab and the other resets all customization.


Note that the first option is available only when some customization is applied to the currently selected tab in the right side list.


Comments? Suggestions? Wish list?