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3 OH NO moments in Excel and what to do about it

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in The Office Tech Pro

My Ribbon is gone!

This is a common exclamation by new Office 2007 and 2010 users. We come from a long line of “double clickers” even though precious little needs a double click. One of the things you might actually double click on is a tab on the Ribbon (Home, Insert, Page Layout, etc.). If you do this it will minimize the Ribbon. You will still see your Quick Access Toolbar, but no Groups or Buttons.
Ribbon Minimized

Ribbon Minimized

Solution – Single click, then Double click on any tab. Voila! Your Ribbon is back. You can also right click on a tab and uncheck Minimize the Ribbon. By the way if this doesn’t bring it back, you may have accidentally clicked on the Full Screen button in the View tab and Workbook Views group. To fix this, minimize the application, then restore it. All Better.

My workbook is gone!

If you just had it open, don’t remember closing it and then no matter how many times you try to open it it just doesn’t appear, it can seem like you’ve crossed over to another dimension.
Hidden Workbooks

Hidden Workbooks

Solution - Relax! What you probably did was accidently click on the Hide button in the View tab and the Windows group. In the same place, just below it is the Unhide button. Click it and you’ll see a dialog box with your workbook listed. Select it, click OK and you’re back!

I can’t see my worksheet tabs!

Sometimes in the process of working with our worksheets in multiple windows, Excel hangs on to the sized worksheet. Since when a Window is sized (click the Arrange button in the Window Group on the View tab), it can be dragged down, the worksheet tabs might seem to disappear.
Minimize, Restore, Close buttons

Minimize, Restore, Close buttons

Solution – You know those 3 buttons that appear in the upper right hand corner of application Window for minimize (the dash), restore (box or boxes) and close (the X)? You will see another set of these at the upper right hand corner of the worksheet. Click the box in the middle of the three buttons on the worksheet. It is now maximized inside the application window and your worksheet tabs should once again be accessible. Want to beef up your Excel skills and include Pivot Tables among them? Check out our webinar on 4/11/2012 and teach your data to talk!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Drake August 23, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Thank you so much, this was quite helpful!


Jonathon Paquin March 22, 2016 at 8:48 am

Oh wow…you save me….I had a sheet that would not open, accidentally hidden, security issues…>THANK YOU!!!!


Angie February 25, 2016 at 9:57 pm

Thank you!!!


Val Suto December 15, 2015 at 8:48 am

Hi, and what to do when these three buttons are not there on the resized sheet because they are under the ribbon?
I can maximize the sheet , but when I want to have the smaller size, the top of the sheet disappears again under the ribbon


Rosie K December 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

when trying to minimize an excel spreadsheet, i clicked the wrong thing and now when i try to open my worksheet, it is all gray. i have tried everything i can think of. what do i do


izal August 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I would add “ooh the copy and paste have gone wrong”


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