As defined by Microsoft, the ribbon is "a command bar that organizes the features of an application into a series of tabs at the top of the application window. The ribbon user interface (UI) increases discoverability of features and functions, enables quicker learning of the application, and makes users feel more in control of their experience with the application. The ribbon replaces the traditional menu bar and toolbars." Read more about the ribbon on Microsoft's site. You can also see why we chose to offer the ribbon style interface in UltraEdit and our other applications.
he ribbon consists of the following structure:
The default ribbon is designed to show group labels and sufficient spacing / padding for optimal legibility and aesthetics. However, if you're wanting to maximize your edit space and minimize the footprint of the ribbon on your screen, there are a couple of display options specifically for this. Right-click on the ribbon to access these options in the context menu:
You can access the ribbon via the keyboard by using ribbon accelerator keys. These can be activated by pressing Alt and then the corresponding letter key of the ribbon category you wish to open. For example, to open the Home tab, press Alt + H; for the Edit tab, Alt + E; for the View tab, Alt + V; etc.
You can press and release Alt to activate tooltips that indicate what letter is used to open different categories. After a category is opened, tooltips are shown on specific commands (or drop downs, which will activate another level of tooltips for items contained within the drop down menus). This allows full keyboard access to all functionality within the ribbon; the mouse is never required.
The Quick Access Toolbar is a supplemental toolbar available in ribbon mode designed to contain most-used or your favorite commands for quick and easy mouse access. This toolbar contains small icons (no text). By default, the Quick Access Toolbar is shown in the application title bar, but you can right-click on it and select "Show quick Access toolbar below the ribbon" to position it beneath the ribbon.
You can customize both the ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar. Visit the links below for more information on these topics.