Customizing the ribbon involves selecting, then organizing the commands that you use regularly.

Once you have the Word Options Dialog box open, let’s start to add some new commands.

In the lower lower right corner, you will see a button called “New Tab”. When you click it, a new tab and a new group will appear in the list above. You can click on the Rename button to give each of these a new name. I usually name the tab “Trevor” because it will be my custom tab that contains a variety of tools. I usually wait to name the groups until after I have decided what tools to include.

Make sure that you have selected the new group in the tab you just added. You can now add commands by choosing from list in the left column. The drop down list at the top of the column allows you to choose from several sets of commands. If you know what type of commands you are looking for, you can choose either the Main Tabs or Tool Tabs option. In the next image, I have added Bold to a new group in the Trevor tab I just created. The Italic command is ready to be selected next.

Organizing into Groups

Once you have added the commands that you want, you can organize them by adding new groups using the New Group Button. You can click and drag groups and commands as you like. Rename the groups as appropriate. You will be given the option to give the group an icon, I generally don’t do this. Once you are done renaming and organizing, click the OK button.

Your new tab will look something like this…

Custom Math tab created for MS Word.

Since customizing is fairly easy, don’t worry about forgetting commands.  I often go back and add new commands when I realize that I use them often.  If someone teaches me about a useful command, I add it in the next time I’m at my computer.

We can customize it further by removing the command labels.