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How to hide the Ribbon menu in Microsoft Office applications

This week's series of tips will be focusing on handy little features for Microsoft Excel and Word. To see the previous tips, check our Tips index.

The new Ribbon interface on Office 2007 and 2010 is quite fancy, and once you get used to it, it's a lot of fun to use. One of its few downsides is that it's tall – far taller than a "traditional" menu. If you're working on a netbook or are otherwise pressed for screen space, it can sometimes be handy to collapse the Ribbon and make it as compact as a regular menu.

To collapse it, simply double-click one of the Ribbon's tabs, such as "Home". The whole thing will instantly shrink down to the line of tabs. Clicking a tab will temporarily expand it back. If you'd rather do the same thing using the keyboard, simply hit Ctrl+F1 (that's what I normally do).

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