Use the Ribbon
Scenario/Problem: Any page in SharePoint might have several ribbons with different command buttons and actions. Often you will want to either show the ribbon to expose editing options on a page, or manually switch to different ribbons to find the actions or the information that those other ribbons offer.
Solution: By default, when you browse through a SharePoint site, the ribbon switching controls are hidden and you are shown the default ribbon that displays the site’s name, logo and navigation. As you navigate through the site, SharePoint attempts to detect what ribbon you need to see based on what you select in a page.
To show the ribbon controls if they are not visible, you must click on the Settings icon that looks like a cogwheel at the top-right corner of the page, and then select the Show Ribbon command from the drop-down menu that opens, as shown in Figure 2.4.
Figure 2.4. The Show Ribbon command in the Settings drop-down menu.
If the ribbon is already shown, the command displays Hide Ribbon instead. After ribbons are made visible, you can use the ribbon controls to switch between the different ribbons.
The control that allows you to switch between ribbons is usually shown at the top of the page, listing the names of the available ribbons as tabs. For example, in most pages, you see the tab for Browse (see Figure 2.5). (This tab shows the navigation ribbon that contains the site title, breadcrumbs, and top-level navigation. All these concepts are explained later in this chapter, in the section “Navigate Through a SharePoint Site”). This is the default ribbon in most scenarios.
Figure 2.5. The ribbon interface, showing the Browse ribbon and buttons to switch to other available ribbons.
To switch between ribbons, you click on the name of the ribbon you want to switch to. For example, when viewing a site’s home page, you can usually switch to the Page ribbon to see buttons that allow you to e-mail a link to the page or make the page your browser’s home page.
Depending on where you are in a site, or what you click in a page, different ribbons will appear and disappear. Figure 2.6, for example, shows the ribbons that will be shown when you view a Calendar list—with special buttons to change how you view the calendar. The Calendar ribbon has buttons under the Scope sections that allow you to switch from the monthly view to the weekly and daily views. This is specific to calendar lists.
Figure 2.6. The Events and Calendar ribbons are available when viewing a calendar.
The ribbons provide links and buttons to different functionality. However, sometimes your screen is not big enough to display all the buttons that appear on a ribbon. This is why the ribbon is split into sections, as shown in Figure 2.6. The sections group various buttons and controls together. If the screen is not big enough to display all buttons in all sections, SharePoint automatically shrinks as many sections as needed so that the sections are still visible, and the buttons are accessible through a section button. Figure 2.7 shows an example of this, with the same page as shown in Figure 2.6 displayed in a much smaller screen. As you can see, the Scope section is compressed to display the buttons without their text next to them, and the Expand section is shown collapsed, as a button. Clicking on the Expand button reveals the two buttons that exist in that section, as shown in Figure 2.8.
Figure 2.7. The Calendar ribbon, in a smaller screen, showing the Scope and Expand sections compressed to save screen space.
Figure 2.8. The Expand section as a drop-down button, showing the buttons under it when clicked.
When you want to return to the default ribbon to see the navigation toolbars, you click on the Browse tab, and the Navigation ribbon appears again.