The Computer Corner - November 2017

Master the Ribbon in Microsoft Office and How to Correct Siri’s pronunciation of Sikh Names

Do you use Microsoft Office on Mac or PC? Did you know you can tweak the ribbon for quick and easy access to your favorite commands?

The ribbon in Microsoft Office offers a way to run commands and tap into various features in any Office program. The ribbon changes its buttons depending on what you’re doing and where you are. Don’t like the ribbon because it doesn’t offer your favorite commands? No problem. You can customize it to remove buttons you don’t use and add buttons you want to use. Ultimately, you can fashion the ribbon so it’s populated with those commands you use the most often. And once you get the hang of tweaking it in one Office program, the process is the same for the rest of the suite. How can you master the ribbon in Office?

Note: For this article I’m using Office 2016, but the information here applies to the past several versions of Office as well.

I’ll enlist Word as my guinea pig, so launch Word to kick things off. You can open any accessible document you like. Right-click on any empty area on the ribbon. From the popup menu, click on the command to Customize the Ribbon.

 The Customize Ribbon window pops up. On the left side is the list for Choose commands from where you can access all commands in Word. On the right side is the list for Customize the Ribbon where you can see the different ribbon tabs.

On the left side, click on the dropdown menu that says Popular Commands. You can now change the view to see commands not in the ribbon, all commands, macros, and other types of commands. On the right side, click on the dropdown menu that says Main Tabs. You can now switch the view to display All Tabs or just Tool Tabs. Switch the left menu back to Popular Commands and the right one to Main Tabs. Notice that the right side serves up an entry for each ribbon or tab in Word, such as Home, Insert, Draw, Design, and Layout. From here you can add a button to any of Word’s ribbons.

Let’s add a button to the Home ribbon. On the right side, click on the plus sign for the Home tab to display its buttons if the tab is not already open. Then click on the actual entry for the Home tab. Before you can add a button, you must create a new group or section to house that button. Click on the New Group button at the bottom. An entry called New Group appears. That’s a blah name, so we’ll change it. With the New Group entry still selected, click on the Rename button. We’ll use this new section to store buttons to zoom in or out of the document, so rename it to Zoom. Now we want to add buttons to it.

On the left side, click on the dropdown menu that says Popular Commands and change the selection to All Commands. Scroll down the alphabetical list of commands until you see the ones for zoom. You should find three commands: Zoom, Zoom..., and Zoom 100%. Let’s add the Zoom 100% command. Click on that entry and then click on the Add button. The entry for Zoom 100% appears on the right in the Zoom group. You can rename it and change its image. Click on the Rename button. Keep the name the same but select a different icon from the icon window. Click OK.

While we’re here, let’s add the other zoom commands. On the left side, click on the command for Zoom and then click on the Add button. Do the same for the Zoom... command. Before we leave the Options window to check our handiwork, we’ll change the order of the commands. Notice there’s an up and down arrow to the right of the Customize the Ribbon list. Click on the second Zoom command you added and move it up or down in the list. Then click on the Zoom tab itself and move it up in the list just above the Styles tab. Click OK at the bottom of the Options window to close it. You should now see the new zoom group and the three Zoom commands on the Home ribbon.

Click on each button to see what it does. Ahh, the Zoom and Zoom... buttons call up the same window, so displaying both is redundant. No problem. We can remove one. Right-click on any empty area of the ribbon and click on Customize Ribbon. On the right side, click on the plus icon for the Zoom group to display its commands. Right-click on one of the two Zoom commands and click on Remove from the popup menu. Click OK to close the Options window, and now you’ll see the remaining two zoom buttons on the ribbon. Hang on though, we can get rid of other stuff.

Let’s say you don’t use styles very much and want to remove that huge Quick Style Gallery toolbar on the Home ribbon. Return to the Customize Ribbon window. Under the Home tab on the right side, right-click on the entry for Styles and then click on Remove. Click OK to close the window. The Styles toolbar is gone, freeing up plenty of space for other groups and buttons on the Home ribbon.

Following the same steps described above, you can go back to the Customize Ribbon window and add more buttons to or remove buttons from the Home ribbon. You can also customize other Ribbons in Word to add or remove buttons.

Now, maybe you want to create a whole new ribbon. Can you do that? Sure. Let’s cook up a whole ribbon for tables. Return to the Customize Ribbon window. On the right side, click on the New Tab button. Notice that Word automatically creates a section or group in which to house the buttons. Click on the entry for New Tab and then click on the Rename button. Call it Tables. On the left side, change the view to display All Commands. Scroll down the list until you find the Insert Table command. Add that to the new Tables tab. Scroll down further on the left until you see more commands for Tables, such as Table Styles, Table Update AutoFormat, and Table Wrapping. Add each of those to the Table tab. You can then change the order of the commands by moving each one up or down. You can also change the order of the ribbons by moving the Table tab up or down. Let’s move it down so it appears after the Layout tab.

Click OK. In Word, click on your new Table ribbon and you’ll see the buttons for the commands you added. And you have plenty of space for more.

Here are a few more tips for customizing the ribbon.

Maybe you like the tweaks you made and want to apply them to Word on another computer. Return to the Customize Ribbon window. On the right side, click on the Import/Export button and then click on the command to Export all customizations. Save the customization file in a location accessible to both computers, such as an external drive or home network. Open Word on the other computer and launch the Customize Ribbon window. On the right side, click on the Import/Export button and then click on the command to Import customization file. Select and import the customize file, and Word assimilates all the changes.

Maybe you don’t like the tweaks you made and want to revert to the default ribbons. On the right side of the Customize Ribbon window, click on the Reset button. Then click on either Reset only selected Ribbon tab to reset the currently selected tab or Reset all customizations to reset any changes to all the ribbons.

Finally, perhaps you want to change the ribbons in Excel, PowerPoint, or another Office program. No sweat. The ribbons differ but the process is the same. Just follow the steps described above and you’ll be able to master the ribbon in any Office application!

How to Make Siri Say Sikh Names Correctly
Siri’s pronunciation isn’t always the best when it comes to saying our names correctly. Siri is great for calling or sending messages, especially if you’re driving, but frustrating when you tell Siri to call Sat Kirpal and the AI searches the web for Soccer Ball. Luckily, you can train Siri to pronounce your name, or any name, correctly. Part of the personal assistant's capabilities is being able to learn. Whether it’s your name or a friend’s name you can fix Siri’s pronunciation in a few short steps. Here’s how to get Siri to say your name correctly as well has how to correct Siri's pronunciation of any of your contacts' names.

First, hold the home button or say, "Hey, Siri," to activate Siri (or double-click the home button) and then say, "That's not how you pronounce [name]."

Siri will ask you how to pronounce the first name of the person. Speak the first name.

Siri will ask you to select a pronunciation. Play each option and choose the correct one. Siri will ask you the middle name of the person. Speak the middle name (if applicable). Siri will ask you to select a pronunciation.


 
Play each option and choose the correct one.

Siri will ask you the last name of the person. Speak the last name. Siri will ask you to select a pronunciation. Play each option and choose the correct one.

If none of the options are close enough, tap Tell Siri, "Again," to repeat the process until you get a Siri pronunciation you like.

Siri will then repeat the process for the contact's last name as well. Once you have trained Siri on how to pronounce a name, the AI should be able to say that name correctly from now on.

That’s it.

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