Displaying the File Tab of the Ribbon by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 20, 2022)

Bruce notes that when Word 2016 is started, it opens with the Home tab of the ribbon displayed. He would like it to start with a different tab displayed, such as the File tab.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this in Word. The configuration capabilities of Word 2016 are better than those of earlier versions of Word, which means you can rather easily change what appears on the ribbon tabs. You can even modify the arrangement of the tabs themselves. (You can't change the position of the File tab, however. It is fixed at the left side of the ribbon.) Word doesn't provide a way to specify which tab should be visible when the program starts.

There are ways to do it using macros, but such an approach will probably take a bit of trial and error—and is really beyond the scope of WordTips. The reason? You must create the macro as part of a COM add-in that runs when you start Word and modifies the user interface (specifically the ribbon). The code to actually switch which ribbon tab is displayed can be found at this site, for an older version of the program:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee691834

Here is the code:

Private myRibbon As IRibbonUI
Sub OnLoad(ribbon As IRibbonUI)
   Set myRibbon = ribbon
   myRibbon.ActivateTabMso("TabData ") 
End Sub

All you would need to do is to change the "TabData " specification to the tab you want displayed, such as (theoretically) "TabFile ". Remember, as well, that this code must be part of the COM add-in you create. That is the only way to get the correct object reference to the user interface (the IRibbonUI object). You cannot do this in a regular, run-of-the-mill macro.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11829) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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