What is Ribbon? Microsoft Word 2007 replaced the drop down menus and many old styled toolbars used in Office 2003 with something called ‘Ribbon’ or ‘Ribbon Menu’. Ribbon is also present in Office 2010.
Ribbon can be understood as a TAB based toolbar. In office 2003, there were fixed toolbars and drop down menus. While in newer versions, there are Tabs like HOME, INSERT, VIEW etc which contain all the features’ buttons and options.
A comparison below, of the old and new interface menus will help you understand the difference.
OLD Word 2003 Interface
1. The toolbar and its visible options remains same, no matter which drop down menu you click.
2. What happens when you click the ‘INSERT’ button? A drop down Menu appears. And there are further sub menus.
Office 2010 Ribbon Interface
The toolbar and the tabs that appear in this image is collectively called the ‘Ribbon’
By Default Home tab is selected, note the toolbar, there are cut , copy, font color, fill color , font size etc buttons.
What happens when you click Another tab ‘INSERT’ in office 2010
1. The toolbar changes, and new options appear (unlike in the office 2003 interface illustrated above)
2. There are no drop down menus like there were in 2003(see pic above), instead all options are spread across toolbar.