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Excel Ribbon - Getting Started
See how a custom tab is added to the Excel Ribbon, and set up macros to run when a Ribbon button is clicked. Requires Excel 2007 or later version
Author: Debra Dalgleish
Parts Database Example
This example is based on the parts database workbook, in which you
enter data in a UserForm with drop down lists. The data is stored
on a hidden sheet, and a pivot table summarizes the data in an Inventory
report. You can learn how to set up the worksheets and the UserForm
on this page: UserForm
In this tutorial, you'll see how to add a custom tab to the Excel
Ribbon, instead of using worksheet buttons to run the macros.
Here is the Ribbon in Excel 2010, with a custom tab named Db Macros
(short for database macros).
Video: Excel Ribbon Code Introduction
Watch this short video to see the steps for viewing and modifying
Ribbon code in the Custom UI Editor tool. Then, in Excel, make a minor
change to your macros, so they will run when a Ribbon button is clicked.
The written instructions are below the video.
View Ribbon Code with Custom UI Editor
The easiest way to view and edit the Ribbon code is to download and
install the Custom
UI Editor. This free program lets you see the existing code in
a file, or create your own.
NOTE: You can download the Custom UI Editor from Ron de Bruin's website, or use a newer free tool, Office RibbonX Editor, instead.
To see the Ribbon code in the Parts Database file:
- Download the sample Parts Database With Ribbon
- Close the Parts Database file, and close Excel
- Install and open the Custom UI Editor
- Click the Open button on the menu bar.
- Locate and select the Parts Database file, and click Open
In the Custom UI Editor, you can see the workbook and the customUI.xml
file at the left. The custom xlm code is shown at the right.
Reading the Custom UI Code
In the xml code, you can see that there is a heading for each part
of the custom UI:
For each item that you create, you'll incude a unique ID, a label,
and perhaps other properties, such as an icon and a macro that runs
when the button is clicked.
For example, here is the code for the Hide Database button on the
Db Macros tab.
- The ID -- DbG02B02 -- is a shortened version of Database tab,
group 2, button 2. You could use a text only ID instead, if you
prefer, as long as the ID is only used once in the code.
- The label -- Hide Database -- is the text that will appear on
the button in the Ribbon tab.
- The image -- Lock -- will also appear on the button
- The size is set to Large, so it will be easy to see on the Ribbon.
- The onAction -- HideDatabase -- is the name of the macro that
will run when the button is clicked.
You can also add a screen tip or super tip in the Ribbon.
- Screen tip: In the Parts Database, there is a screen tip
for the Show Lists button, which is highlighted in yellow in the
screen shot below.
- Super tip: Below the screen tip, circled in blue, is a
super tip, which explains how to use the lists.
Check the Ribbon Code
If you make changes the to the code, the Custom UI Editor can check
the revised code, to make sure that it is valid. For example:
- In the first group, change the second button's ID from DbG01B02
- On the Custom UI menu bar, click the Validate button
- An error message appears, warning that the ID is a duplicate.
- Click OK, change the button ID back to DbG01B02 and click the
Validate button again. A different message appears, announcing the
the code is well-formed.
- Click OK, to close the message
- Click the Save button, to save your changes.
Set Up the Macros
If your Ribbon buttons will run macros, you'll need to add a Ribbon
callback in each macro's arguments. To see how these are set up, you
can use another command in the Custom UI Editor.
- On the Custom UI Editor's menu, click the Generate Callbacks button.
- A new code sheet appears, with all the macros listed as onAction
items in your Custom UI code.
- In the brackets after each macro name, you can see the ribbon
callback: (control As IRibbonControl)
- You could copy this code, and paste it into the Visual Basic Editor
in Excel, and fill in the code for each callback. Or, modify each
of your existing macros, to add that ribbon callback.
- To return to the Custom UI code window, click the workbook name
at the left of the Custom UI Editor.
Open the Parts Database File
After you have made the Custom UI changes, you can close the Custom
UI Editor, and test the file in Excel.
- Save your changes, and close the Custom UI Editor.
- Open Excel, and open the Parts Database file.
- If a security warning appears, click the Enable Content button,
so the macros will run.
- To see the VBA code, press Alt + F11, and view the code in the
modNavigate module. You'll see that each macro has the Ribbon Callback
For an explanation of the UserForm that is in the workbook, and its
code, please see this page: UserForm
Test the Ribbon Buttons
Now that everything is set up, you can test the buttons on the Db
Macros Ribbon tab.
- Close the Visual Basic Editor, and return to Excel.
- To test the custom tab items, click on the Db Macros tab, and
click one of the buttons. For example, click the Show Database button,
to see the hidden database sheet.
Note: This button does not have a screen tip or super tip, so its
label shows up as a screen tip -- Show Database.
How to Remove Custom Ribbon Tab
If you no longer need the custom Ribbon tab that you added to a workbook, follow these steps to remove the custom tab.
- In Excel, close the Order Form workbook, and then close Excel.
- Open the Custom UI Editor, or the RibbonX Editor
- Click the Open button, then select and open the Order Form file.
- In the list at the left, right-click on the customUI.xml object
- In the pop-up menu, click the Remove command
- A confirmation messages appears, with the title, Remove XML Part, and the following message:
- This action cannot be undone. Are you sure you want to continue?
- If you want to remove the customUI.xml, click Yes
- Next, in the RibbonX Editor toolbar, click the Save button
- Close the RibbonX Editor, and then re-open your file in Excel
Get the Sample File
Get the sample file -- Parts
Database With Custom Ribbon Tab. The zipped file is in Excel 2007
/ 2010 format, and contains macros.
Thanks to Ron de Bruin, Excel MVP, for the helpful Ribbon
customization information on his website, and thanks to Stephen
Davanzo, whose sample workbook inspired me to start experimenting
with the Ribbon.
Ribbon -- Add Custom Tab
Ribbon Tab - Your Macros
a UserForm With ComboBoxes
VBA Code, Copy to a workbook