Configuring Office 2010 Ribbon for the SharePoint Information Worker

Office 2010 includes a new capability that gives users the power to create new or customize existing ribbon tabs and groups. Office 2007 included the ability to customize the quick access toolbar which we will also customize in this article so if you’re still stuck with Office 2007 for the next few months then you won’t be left out. Let’s take a look.

My custom tab ended up looking like the following


Let’s break it down group by group…

Collaboration

True, word already provides a nice yellow toolbar that pops up when a document is available for check-out but I’ve found that having the button clearly shows either grayed out or available depending on the state of the document. Beware the discard check out button… don’t want to lose any valuable work but still a nice addition.

Actions

View Version History is a great, often overlooked, shortcut when working with documents. From this menu you can open previous versions, compare versions, delete versions and open the document library in the browser. Inspect document will help you clean metadata to prepare before sending to a client.

Properties

View Document properties is going to open the advanced properties dialog, maybe overkill for normal users but helpful to clean up that metadata that is going to show up in SharePoint search results. The properties button will load the Document Information Panel for custom metadata while you can use the Document Property menu to insert that custom metadata into the body of your document.

Sharing

Quick access for sharing those word documents outside the organization. But you don’t really need this do you because you’re already have a SharePoint extranet for that… right? Remember, if you do email documents to be sure to clean the metadata properly with the “Inspect Document” butotn.

Workflows

Start new workflows and view existing workflow tasks; a welcome addition and a good way to complete our custom ribbon tab.

Quick Access Toolbar

Since we can’t always keep our SharePoint tab open and for those of you still using Word 2007… you can add almost all of the buttons listed above to the quick access toolbar. I’ve set mine up as shown below. A word of advice, because the icons are so small… keep it simple. Some of the icons, especially the check-in/check-out are too similar to sit next to each other when so small.

I put “Check In” right next to save and added “View Version History” to the end. Simple but powerful.

Now you can either download the SharePoint Ribbon Tab or go build your own!

I'm a public speaker and the Chief SharePoint Architect for Eastridge, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in SharePoint and custom application development in Winston-Salem, NC. I focus on the SharePoint platform with a specialty in Information Architecture, Publishing and Best Practices.

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