Getting to Know Word

Get Microsoft Office help using the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, and Backstage view to produce documents in MS Word 2013.

Working with the Word environment

If you've previously used Word 2010 or 2007, then Word 2013 should feel familiar. It continues to use features like the Ribbon and the Quick Access toolbar—where you will find commands to perform common tasks in Word—as well as Backstage view.

The Ribbon

Word 2013 uses a tabbed Ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. You will use these tabs to perform the most common tasks in Word.

Click the arrows in the slideshow below to learn more about the different commands available within each tab on the Ribbon.

Certain programs, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, may install additional tabs to the Ribbon. These tabs are called add-ins.

To minimize and maximize the Ribbon:

The Ribbon is designed to respond to your current task, but you can choose to minimize the Ribbon if you find that it takes up too much screen space.

  1. Click the Ribbon Display Options arrow in the upper-right corner of the Ribbon.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Ribbon Display options
  2. Select the desired minimizing option from the drop-down menu:



    • Auto-hide Ribbon: Auto-hide displays your document in full-screen mode and completely hides the Ribbon from view. To show the Ribbon, click the Expand Ribbon command at the top of screen.


      Screenshot of Word 2013Auto-hiding the Ribbon
    • Show tabs: This option hides all command groups when not in use, but tabs will remain visible. To show the Ribbon, simply click a tab.


      Screenshot of Word 2013Showing only Ribbon tabs
    • Show tabs and commands: This option maximizes the Ribbon. All of the tabs and commands will be visible. This option is selected by default when you open Word for the first time.

To learn how to add custom tabs and commands to the Ribbon, review our Extra on Customizing the Ribbon.

To learn how to use the Ribbon with touch-screen devices, review our Extra on Enabling Touch Mode.