Microsoft Word is a program we have all encountered at some point, but very few of us have dug deep into its full scope of features, let alone customized it to suit our needs. Luckily making the ribbon (aka toolbar, first introduced in Word 2007) work for you is extremely simple, and can save you lots of time in the long run.
What is the Ribbon?
The ribbon is the top expanded toolbar visible in your Word document.
Keep in mind customizing the ribbon is specific to Microsoft Word and changes will not be applied across other Microsoft Office programs. The customization also has its limits, you can’t rename, change the icons, or order of the default commands (it will become clear what you can and can’t change).
The ribbon is different than the quick access toolbar, which can also be customized (more on that later) and shown below or above the ribbon. This toolbar only shows icons for various actions, and can be helpful for even faster access to your most commonly used tools.
Start Customizing your Ribbon
It's very easy to get going in customizing the tools you see on your ribbon and various tabs.
Right click on the Ribbon > Customize the Ribbon
(This is also where you can show the quick access toolbar)
This window will pop-up, allowing you to apply changes to your ribbon.
From here you can customize both your ribbon and quick access toolbar by selecting from a lengthy list of Word's commands and adding/removing them from your ribbon.