It’s a constant challenge to keep pace with Microsoft’s “evolving” presentation for their Office suite of applications. It’s entirely possible a hurried or, inadvertent series of key clicks might leave you with a display devoid of the usual tabs and groups — extremely disconcerting!
What Happened — and How Do I Get The Ribbon Back?
First, don’t panic; the fix might be relatively easy. Without knowing exactly how you got there, here are a couple culprits:
1) One possible “ribbon vanquisher” is the key combination Control-F1. Simultaneously hitting the Control and F1keys has a toggle-on / toggle-off effect on the command ribbon. For a demo of this, hold the Control key down while pressing the F1 key several times; you should observe the ribbon flashing on and off. This key sequence works similarly in Microsoft Word.
2) Another possible explanation for the missing command ribbon is that you somehow got into Full Screen mode. Full Screen mode is one option available from the View tab, Workbook Views group. Unlike Microsoft Word, there is no mini-ribbon bar in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Also, the Control-F1 combination will not restore the ribbon commands. To restore the ribbon view, simply hit Escape. You can also exit Full Screen mode by clicking the Minimize or, Restore Down buttons in the upper right-hand corner of the screen; for the latter, the ribbon tabs and groups will be visible in the reduced-size window and remain visible (until you change the view, or turn-off the ribbon again). Caution: clicking on the [x] Close button immediately to the right of Restore Down will try to close the document; from here, if you want to continue editing your document, hit Cancel and you’ll return to the editing mode.
Hopefully these “fixes” get you back in business — just in time to begin deciphering Excel 2012…