The previous lesson introduced the Ribbon. The Ribbon is that strip across the top of the screen containing a large number of icons. Each of these icons is referred to as a Ribbon component, and the Ribbon contains many different types of component. Explaining how the different types of Ribbon component work is the subject of this lesson.
Notice that the Ribbon is split into logical groups. For the Home tab on the Ribbon you can see there's the Clipboard group, the Font group, the Alignment group, the Number group, the Styles group, the Cells group, and the Editing group. Each of the commands in one of these groups relates to the name of the group. For example, all of the commands in the Number group refer to the manipulation of numbers. You can see that each of the tabs on the Ribbon follows the same system, placing all of the commands into logical groups.
Let's now enter some test text into cell C4. I'll click in cell C4 and type the word Test. And then I'll click back on C4 again to make this the active cell.
First of all, we'll look at the Normal button. We've already encountered some Normal buttons in the previous lesson. The Bold button in the Font group is a good example of a Normal button. I click on the Bold button, and the text in cell C4 becomes bold.
The Italic button is also a Normal button. I'll click on Italic and the text is now both bold and italic. And if I click on the buttons again, each of the attributes are removed from the Test text and it returns to normal again.
Now let's look at the Split button. This is the hardest button to understand. A good example of a Split button is the Underline button next to the Italic button. If you hover the mouse over the Underline button you'll see that it has two halves: a left half and a right half. And the right half is an inverted pyramid. You'll see these inverted pyramids all over the Ribbon, and they indicate that, when you click, you'll see a dropdown menu.
The left hand side of a Split button operates in exactly the same way as a Normal button. Let's test the left hand half now. I click Underline and an underline is applied to the text in cell C4. And if I click the left hand half of the Split button again, the underline is removed.
But now let's look at the right hand part of a Split button. When I click the inverted pyramid, you'll see that there are two different commands available. In this case it's simply a single underline or a double underline. I'll click double underline, and notice that two things have happened. First of all, the text in cell C4 now has a double underline. But also, the default behaviour of the left hand part of the button has changed to a double underline.
So if I click the left hand part of the double underline button, the double underline disappears. And if I click again, the double underline is reapplied. In other words, we've changed the default behaviour of the Split button so that it now applies a double underline when you click the left hand part.
Let's set the default back to a single underline now, by clicking the right hand part of the Split button and simply clicking Underline. And you can see that now, the Underline button will apply or remove a single underline from the active cell.
Let's now look at a few more dropdown lists. The dropdown lists are lists that have that little triangle on the right hand side. In the previous lesson we've already seen that the font can be changed using a dropdown list. And you can also change the size of the text using a dropdown list.
Those are both very simple dropdown lists, but let's look at a more complicated dropdown list by looking at the Home tab on the Ribbon and the Editing group. And I'll click the Find & Select dropdown list.
Notice that there are many more options here, but particularly I want you to notice that some of these options have an ellipsis next to them. That's three dots in a row (...).
Let's take the first option: Find... The ellipsis after Find... tells me that when I click Find..., a dialog will be displayed offering more choices. I'll click Find... now, and you can see the Find and Replace dialog has appeared. I'll now click the red cross in the top right hand corner of the Find and Replace dialog, to dismiss the dialog.
Now let's look at a Rich Menu. For an example of a Rich Menu, I'm going to go to the View tab on the Ribbon, and in the Window group I'm going to click Freeze Panes.
The Rich Menu is very similar to any other dropdown, but some help text is shown beneath each menu choice. This is Microsoft's way of encouraging you to use some more advanced features by explaining what they're going to do before you click the option. It's a kind of an "in your face help system". You'll understand what each of these options do later in the course, but for now I'll click back onto the worksheet to make the Rich Menu disappear.
Now let's look at the most powerful type of dropdown list: a dropdown Gallery. For a good example of a dropdown Gallery, I'll click the Home tab on the Ribbon and, in the Styles group, the cell Styles Gallery.
Galleries can visually demonstrate the effect of each choice before you actually make the choice. For example, if I hover the mouse cursor over the Bad style, you can see that the text in cell C4 has become red, and the same for all of the other options in the Cell Styles Gallery. But I'm not going to apply any of the options in the Cell Styles Gallery. I'm just going to click back onto the worksheet to the dismiss the Gallery.
Now let's talk about Checkboxes. For an example of a Checkbox, I'm going to go to the View tab on the Ribbon and, in the Show Group, notice that there are four little boxes with ticks in them. These are Checkboxes.
I'm going to click the Gridlines Checkbox. At the moment it has a little tick in it, but when I click the tick is removed, and notice that all of the gridlines have gone from the worksheet. If I now click the Checkbox once more, the tick reappears and so do the gridlines.
Now let's look at a Dialog Launcher. I'll click the Home tab on the Ribbon, and to demonstrate the Dialog Launcher I'm going to use the Dialog Launcher in the Font Group. The Dialog Launcher is the small arrow in the bottom right hand corner of many groups.
A Dialog Launcher launches a complex dialog, offering many more choices than are available within the group components.
For example, I might want to put a strikethrough through the word Test. Now there isn't any option within the Font group to do that from the Ribbon, but I can do it from the Dialog Launcher. So I'll click the Dialog Launcher button, to launch the Format Cells dialog. And you can see there's an enormous number of different options on this dialog, offering many complex ways of formatting cells, but the option I wanted was the strikethrough. And notice there's a Strikethrough checkbox, so I'll click the Strikethrough checkbox and then click OK. And you can see that a Strikethrough has now been applied to the text in cell C4.
Dialog Launchers usually provide some more expert features that aren't used by the average Excel user. But you'll see a few examples in this course of where we need to use the Dialog Launcher, and in the Expert Course in the series we'll use the Dialog Launchers a lot.
Well you now understand how all of the different components on the Ribbon work. And you've completed Lesson 1-13: Understand Ribbon Components.