Does it ever bother you that the ribbon sits up there at the top of the workbook, smugly hogging a bunch of space while you toil away in your (smaller) worksheet below? Wouldn't it be nice to easily use that extra space? You know, to get your work done?
Ribbon down - the normal state
Whether you're using it or not, the ribbon takes up about four rows of your worksheet, but it's actually pretty easy to minimize the ribbon and reclaim this space while you work.
Ribbon up or minimized - you can see an extra four rows
Keyboard shortcuts are the fastest way, but you can also click also directly on the ribbon tabs, as explained below.
Quickly minimize the Ribbon (Win Excel 2010)
You can "toggle" the ribbon into a minimized state and back again in three different ways:
1. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-F1.
2. Double click any tab in the ribbon.
3. Click the small Minimize/Expand Ribbon icon next to the help icon
When the ribbon is minimized, you'll notice that it has an elastic behavior. If you click a tab, the Ribbon will expand and let you select a command. Then it will politely snap back to minimized again after you're done.
Win Excel 2010 ribbon shortcut and controls - Ctrl F1
Quickly minimize the Ribbon (Mac Excel 2011)
To minimize the ribbon in Excel 2011, you can:
1. Use the keyboard shortcut Command Option R
2. Single click any tab in the ribbon.
3. Click the small Minimize/Expand Ribbon icon next to the gear icon (ribbon preferences)
Mac Excel 2011 ribbon shortcut and controls - Cmd Opt R (⌘ ⌥ R)
On Excel 2011 for the Mac, the ribbon behaves differently. The minimized version doesn't have the elastic quality of the Windows version - it won't close for you automatically. However, on a Mac, you can actually turn off the Ribbon completely. Just uncheck the checkbox at Excel Preferences > Ribbon > Turn on the ribbon. When you turn the Ribbon off this way, you just won't see it at all. You'll have to visit preferences again to re-enable the ribbon.