Ribbon Interface: Contextual Tab and Toolbar

Despite of the tabbed pages, Ribbon Interface also brings contextual tab and toolbar. These two improvements would provide a user with specific tasks when certain objects (such as Picture, Word Arts, Text Box, etc) in the worksheet are activated or highlighted.

Contextual Tab

This kind of tab is rather different from tabbed pages in two senses. First, it only appears when specific object is highlighted. Second, it has a “cascading” look and is colored differently (usually red).

As you may notice in the Fig. 1, when a picture is clicked, this would bring in Picture Tools and the subsequent “sub” tab, namely Format. The commands in those four groups (Adjust, Picture Styles, Arrange, Size) are all there for picture modifications, such as adjusting brightness level, resizing or applying effects.

Picture Tools Tab

Figure 1. Picture Tools Tab

The presence of this contextual tab also affects the commands in other tabs. Since a picture is clicked, all those commands unrelated to picture editing would be inactivated and grayed out, as in Formula Tab (Fig. 2).

Inactivated Commands

Figure 2. Inactivated Commands in Formula Tab

“Floating” Toolbar

The context menu that appears when a user right-clicked on a cell had a little change. From now on (starting from Microsoft Excel 2007), it also features “floating” toolbar. This toolbar provides an easy access to some editing commands commonly found in Home Tab (Fig. 3). It disappeared once a user right-clicked on other objects.

"Floating" Toolbar

Figure 3. "Floating" Toolbar

Leave a Reply