What is Ribbon Commander?
Ribbon Commander (RC for short) is a framework and application that allows the Microsoft Office Ribbon to be dynamic. This means that buttons are no longer static and can be removed or added during run-time. This main feature allows developers to greatly expand their add-in capabilities while at the same time gives the end-user the ability to run custom add-ins tailored to their preferences, active workbook, and much, much more!
Popular Ribbon Commander Add-ins (All Included!)
- Financial Model Navigation - This add-in is perfect for navigating through large models or Excel workbooks that never seem to end. Some notable features include Flip Sheets (allows you to go back and forth between sheets), Table of Contents (create a Table of Contents tab), and the various sheet navigations provided through the Goto Cell section.
- Dynamic Icon Browser - This is a developer tool that allows you to effortlessly search Microsoft's huge library of icons. This is essential if you create Ribbons that use MSO images. Since this add-in displays all the icons in the Ribbon, you could also take screenshots of them and use the images in your spreadsheets for buttons
- Protection Remover Pro - This is a very simple add-in that allows you to remove the increased encryption methods for spreadsheet protection that was implemented in Excel (starting in 2013). This is the only add-in that I know of that can unlock spreadsheets that were protected in Excel 2013 or late.
- VBA Toolkit - Another great developer tool that gives you increased functionality to manage large VBA projects. My favorite feature is the Reference button that lists some of the more popular references so you don't have to scroll through the hundreds of listed reference libraries within the VBE Reference dialog box.
- Excel & VBA Function Navigation - Every come across a function you have never used before in a spreadsheet? Well, with this add-in you can easily lookup the function and launch the Microsoft webpage that explains your mystery function. This add-in cuts Google completely out of your troubleshooting.
What Is A Dynamic Ribbon?
Microsoft built their revolutionary Ribbon user interface with a mostly user interface. This means all the options available are given to you upfront. Now Microsoft did add a little flair into the experience by allowing formatting Ribbon tabs to appear and disappear based on an object selection (ie graph, pivot table, shape, etc...). But a truly dynamic ribbon would add a whole lot more intelligence into the user experience. Imagine your ribbon analyzing each spreadsheet you open and then adapting it's capabilities based on the information stored in that specific workbook. Either your mind is thinking about all the super powers your ribbon could have or you are extremely confused. Take a look at the below animated GIFs and see if this functionality is a little bit more comprehensible (you can click them to enlarge).
Built-In Add-in Store
With Ribbon Commander there is no need to search through all the nooks and crannies of the internet to find great Excel add-ins. By clicking the built-in Add-in Manager button in the RC ribbon tab you gain access to a ton of great add-ins that use Ribbon Commander's dynamic ribbon capabilities to the fullest. Many of the top Excel gurus and websites are working with Ribbon Commander to create amazing add-ins that can be downloaded right from the Add-in Manager (even The Spreadsheet Guru has a few apps in the store)!
Benefits For Excel Users
- A dynamic ribbon means you can further tailor add-in functionalities to meet your specific needs
- RC has TONS of add-ins to choose from in it's built-in Add-in Manager
- Load and Unload Ribbon tabs so only the add-ins you want to show are visible
Benefits For Excel Developers
- Use VBA code to create your Custom Ribbon menus & buttons instead of hassling with writing OpenXML
- Remove or Add Ribbon buttons on the fly based on dynamic situations
- RC comes with developer tools to enhance the the Visual Basic Editor capabilities
Websites Who Have Published Ribbon Commander Powered Add-ins
How Do I Get It?
Ribbon Commander is so confident that you will love their Excel application, they are currently offering a 1 month free trial so you can take it for a test drive. If you would like to purchase Ribbon Commander, you may purchase a 1-year subscription for $30. This subscription gives you both the developer (VBA) capabilities along with the end-user features. I only recommend products that I use on a daily basis and Ribbon Commander is no exception. I have worked extensively with their team and absolutely love the product. I believe this product will change the way you think about and use the Office Ribbon within Excel. As always, feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about Ribbon Commander and its features.