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Access 2010 FAQ


Is there a graphical tool available to edit the built-in Ribbons in Access 2010?


Yes, in Access 2010, you can now customize the built-in ribbons using a drag and drop interface similar to customizing the Quick Access Toolbar. If you do not like the order of the groups on the four default ribbon tabs, for example, you can easily change the order to your liking. To customize the ribbon, click the File tab and then click the Options button on the Backstage view to open the Access Options dialog box. Now click the Customize Ribbon category on the left to begin customizing the ribbon, as shown in the screenshot below.



On the left, you can see a list of built-in Access commands that you can select to add to groups on the ribbon. By default, the list shows commands from the Popular Commands category—commands that are used very frequently. You can change the list of commands by selecting a different category from the Choose Commands From list. The All Commands option displays the entire list of Access commands available in alphabetical order.


The list on the right side of the screen by default displays a list of the built-in Access ribbon tabs—Print Preview, Home, Create, External Data, Database Tools, Source Control, and Add-Ins. You can change the list of tabs by selecting a different category from the Customize The Ribbon list. The All Tabs option displays the entire list of Access ribbon tabs, and the Tool Tabs option displays only the list of Access contextual ribbon tabs. Next to the name of each tab in the list below Customize The Ribbon is a plus symbol. Click the plus symbol, and Access expands the list beneath the tab to show you all the groups and commands within that specific tab. Click the minus symbol, and Access collapses the list to show you only the name of the tab itself. Similarly, you’ll see a plus symbol next to each of the group names underneath the tab name. Click the plus symbol here, and Access expands the group to show you all the commands on that specific group. Click the minus symbol to collapse the group. Next to the plus and minus symbols for each tab, you’ll see a check box. Clear this check box to not display that tab on the ribbon. Note that clearing this check box does not delete the tab and all its contents; it merely tells Access not to show this tab on the ribbon. Select the check box, and Access displays that tab in the ribbon.


You’ll notice that all the commands listed on the default tab groups are dimmed. You cannot rename or reorder the commands listed on the default tab groups; however, you can rename and reorder the group names on the default tabs, rename and reorder the names of the default tabs, add new custom groups to the default tabs, and add commands to these custom groups on the default tabs. You can also create your own custom tabs and add groups and commands to those tabs to customize the ribbon further. To create a new custom tab, click the New Tab button near the lower-right corner of the screen. Access adds a new tab to the list on the right called New Tab (Custom) and a new group beneath that tab called New Group (Custom), as shown in the screenshot below. All custom tabs and custom groups have (Custom) after the name. However, Access does not show (Custom) on the ribbon.



To change the name of your custom tab, highlight it and then click Rename. Access opens the Rename dialog box, as shown in the screenshot below. Type in a new name for your custom tab in the Display Name text box and then click OK. Access displays your new tab name in the tab list followed by (Custom). Remember that (Custom) appears only in the Customize Ribbon category of the Access Options dialog box.



To add a command to your custom group, find a command in the list on the left, and then either double-click it or click the Add button in the middle of the screen to add this command to your custom ribbon group, as shown in the screenshot below. If you make a mistake and select the wrong command, select the command in the list on the right and click Remove to eliminate it from your custom group.



After you have all the commands and macros you want on your custom group, you might decide that you do not like the order in which they appear. Access 2010 allows you to easily modify this order using the Move Up and Move Down arrow buttons at the far right of the dialog box. (You can rest your mouse pointer on either button to see the button name.) Select a command that you want to move in the list on the right and click the up arrow to move it up in the list. Each successive click moves that command up one more place in the group. Likewise, the down arrow shifts the selected command down in the group. Alternatively, you can right-click a command and then click Move Up or Move Down on the shortcut menu, as shown in the screenshot below.



To add additional groups to your custom tab or to one of the built-in ribbon tabs, click the New Group button at the bottom of the screen, or right-click a tab and then click Add New Group. You can continue customizing the ribbon by adding more commands to these additional groups, renaming the groups and commands, and changing their display order.


If you want to create and edit your own custom ribbons for a specific database, see this Related Topic

Note that those tools were designed for Access 2007. I do not know if they are fully tested with Access 2010.


See more tips and tricks like this in my book: Microsoft Access 2010 Inside Out



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