Other Ribbon Features

We will complete the design of the ribbon with these features:

Application Menu

The Application Menu is displayed when the user clicks the dark button to the left of the ribbon tabs:

Application Menu

The tree view for this application menu in the Ribbon Designer looks like this:

Application Menu Tree

The application menu consists of 3 menu groups (visually divided by a separator). You can add regular buttons, and drop-down or split buttons to a menu group. With a drop-down or split button, you can add subitems that will display in the right part of the application menu.

The application menu node itself has the following properties:

  • Enable Recent Items: when you check this, the right part of the application menu will display recent items by default (for example, recently opened files). You then need to specify the following properties:
  • Caption Command: the command that is used for the caption above the recent items. For example, this command could have a caption property of "Recent documents".
  • Max Count: the maximum number of recent items that will be shown.
  • Enable Pinning: whether recent items can be pinned to the application menu.

Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) gives quick access to commonly used commands:

Quick Access Toolbars

You can add Buttons, Toggle Buttons and Check Boxes to a QAT. These are the commands that the user can add to the QAT for quick access. For each command you can specify if it is part of the QAT by default (using the "Is Checked" property).

Help Button

You can display a Help Button to the right of the tabs by setting the "Command" property of the help button in the tree view:

Help Button

If you do so, a help button will be displayed to the right of the tabs.

Contextual Tabs

You can define groups of tabs that are only available in certain contexts. For example, when you edit a table in Microsoft Word, you will get a group of two Contextual Tabs:

Contextual Tabs

In this example, the two tabs Design and Layout are regular ribbon tabs, but they are part of a contextual tab group called Table Tools. You would design these tabs in the Ribbon Designer like this:

Contextual Tabs Tree View

You would just add a tab group to the "Contextual Tabs" node, and than you would add Tabs to that group as you would normally.

We will finish the Ribbon Design section with the most complicated subject: controlling sizing and scaling behavior of the ribbon. This will take a little getting used to, but when you get the hang of it, it can greatly improve user experience.

Next: Sizing & Scaling