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Ribbon Object Model Overview

The Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime exposes a strongly typed object model that you can use to get and set the properties of ribbon controls at run time. For example, you can dynamically populate menu controls, or show and hide controls contextually. You can also add tabs, groups, and controls to a ribbon, but only before the ribbon is loaded by the Office application. For information, see Setting Properties That Become Read-Only.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to document-level projects and application-level projects for the following applications: Excel 2013 and Excel 2010; InfoPath 2013 and InfoPath 2010; Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010; PowerPoint 2013 and PowerPoint 2010; Project 2013 and Project 2010; Visio 2013 and Visio 2010; Word 2013 and Word 2010. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

This Ribbon object model consists mainly of the Ribbon Class, Ribbon Events, and Ribbon Control Classes.

When you add a new Ribbon (Visual Designer) item to a project, Visual Studio adds a Ribbon class to your project. The Ribbon class inherits from the RibbonBase class.

This class appears as a partial class that is split between the Ribbon code file and the Ribbon Designer code file.

The Ribbon class contains the following three events:

Event

Description

RibbonBase.Load

Raised when the Office application loads the ribbon customization. The Load event handler is automatically added to the ribbon code file. Use this event handler to run custom code when the ribbon loads.

RibbonBase.LoadImage

Enables you to cache images in the ribbon customization when the ribbon loads. You can get a slight performance gain if you write code to cache the ribbon images in this event handler. For more information, see LoadImage.

RibbonBase.Close

Raised when the ribbon instance closes.

The Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon namespace contains a type for each control that you see in the Office Ribbon Controls group of the Toolbox.

The following table shows the type for each Ribbon control. For a description of each control, see Ribbon Overview.

Control name

Class name

Box

RibbonBox

Button

RibbonButton

ButtonGroup

RibbonButtonGroup

CheckBox

RibbonCheckBox

ComboBox

RibbonComboBox

DropDown

RibbonDropDown

EditBox

RibbonEditBox

Gallery

RibbonGallery

Group

RibbonGroup

Label

RibbonLabel

Menu

RibbonMenu

Separator

RibbonSeparator

SplitButton

RibbonSplitButton

Tab

RibbonTab

ToggleButton

RibbonToggleButton

The Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon namespace uses the "Ribbon" prefix for these types to avoid a name collision with the names of control classes in the System.Windows.Forms namespace.

When you add a control to the Ribbon Designer, the Ribbon Designer declares the class for that control as a field in the Ribbon Designer code file.

Each Ribbon control contains properties that you can use to perform various tasks, such as assigning a label to a control, or hiding and showing controls.

In some cases, properties become read-only after the ribbon loads or after a control is added to a dynamic menu. For more information, see Setting Properties that Become Read-Only.

The following table describes some of the tasks that you can perform by using Ribbon control properties.

For this task:

Do this:

Hide or show a control.

Use the Visible property.

Enable or disable a control.

Use the Enabled property.

Set the size of a control.

Use the ControlSize property.

Get the image that appears on a control.

Use the Image property.

Change the label of a control.

Use the Label property.

Add user-defined data to a control.

Use the Tag property.

Get the items in a RibbonBox, RibbonDropDown, RibbonGallery, or

RibbonSplitButton control.

Use the Items property.

Add items to a RibbonComboBox, RibbonDropDown, or RibbonGallery control.

Use the Items property.

Add controls to a RibbonMenu.

Use the Items property.

To add controls to the RibbonMenu after the ribbon is loaded into the Office application, you must set the Dynamic property to true before the ribbon is loaded into the Office application. For information, see Setting Properties That Become Read-Only.

Get the selected item of a RibbonComboBox,

RibbonDropDown , or RibbonGallery.

Use the SelectedItem property. For a RibbonComboBox, use the Text property.

Get the groups on a RibbonTab.

Use the Groups property.

Specify the number of rows and columns that appear in a RibbonGallery.

Use the RowCount and ColumnCount properties.

Some properties can only be set before the ribbon loads. There are three places to set these properties:

  • In the Visual Studio Properties window.

  • In the constructor of the Ribbon class.

  • In the CreateRibbonExtensibilityObject method of the ThisAddin, ThisWorkbook, or ThisDocument class of your project.

Dynamic menus provide some exceptions. You can create new controls, set their properties, and then add them to a dynamic menu at run time, even after the ribbon that contains the menu is loaded.

Properties of controls that you add to a dynamic menu can be set at any time.

For more information, see Properties that Become Read-Only.

You can set the properties of a Ribbon control in the constructor of the Ribbon class. This code must appear after the call to the InitializeComponent method. The following example adds a new button to a group if the current time is 17:00 Pacific Time (UTC-8) or later.

Add the following code.

public Ribbon1()
    : base(Globals.Factory.GetRibbonFactory())
{
    InitializeComponent();
    if (System.DateTime.Now.Hour > 16)
    {
        Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon.RibbonButton button =
            this.Factory.CreateRibbonButton();
        button.Label = "New Button";
        group1.Items.Add(button);
    }
}

In Visual C# projects that you upgraded from Visual Studio 2008, the constructor appears in the ribbon code file.

In Visual Basic projects, or in Visual C# projects that you created in Visual Studio 2013, the constructor appears in the Ribbon Designer code file. This file is named YourRibbonItem.Designer.cs or YourRibbonItem.Designer.vb. To see this file in Visual Basic projects, you must first click the Show All Files button in Solution Explorer.

You can set the properties of a Ribbon control when you override the CreateRibbonExtensibilityObject method in the ThisAddin, ThisWorkbook, or ThisDocument class of your project. For more information about the CreateRibbonExtensibilityObject method, see Ribbon Overview.

The following example sets ribbon properties in the CreateRibbonExtensibilityObject method of the ThisWorkbook class of an Excel workbook project.

Add the following code.

protected override Microsoft.Office.Core.IRibbonExtensibility
    CreateRibbonExtensibilityObject()
{
    bool myCondition = false;
    if (myCondition == true)
    {
        Ribbon1 tempRibbon = new Ribbon1();
        tempRibbon.tab1.ControlId.ControlIdType =
            Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon.RibbonControlIdType.Office;
        tempRibbon.tab1.ControlId.OfficeId = "TabHome";
        return Globals.Factory.GetRibbonFactory().CreateRibbonManager( 
            new Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon.IRibbonExtension[]
             { tempRibbon });
    }
    else
    {
        Ribbon2 tempRibbon = new Ribbon2();
        tempRibbon.tab1.ControlId.ControlIdType =
            Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon.RibbonControlIdType.Office;
        tempRibbon.tab1.ControlId.OfficeId = "TabInsert";
        return Globals.Factory.GetRibbonFactory().CreateRibbonManager(
                            new Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon.IRibbonExtension[] { tempRibbon });
    }
}

The following table shows properties that can only be set before the Ribbon loads.

Note Note

You can set the properties of controls on dynamic menus at any time. This table does not apply in that case.

A new instance of the ribbon is created each time a user opens an Inspector in which the ribbon appears. However, you can set the properties listed in the table above only before the first instance of the ribbon is created. After the first instance is created, these properties become read-only because the first instance defines the XML file that Outlook uses to load the ribbon.

If you have conditional logic that sets any of these properties to a different value when other instances of the ribbon are created, this code will have no effect.

Note Note

Ensure that the Name property is set for each control that you add to an Outlook ribbon. If you add a control to an Outlook ribbon at run time, you must set this property in your code. If you add a control to an Outlook ribbon at design time, the Name property is set automatically.

Each control class contains one or more events. The following table describes these events.

Event

Description

Click

Occurs when a control is clicked.

TextChanged

Occurs when the text of an edit box or combo box is changed.

ItemsLoading

Occurs when the Items collection of the control is requested by Office. Office caches the Items collection until your code changes the properties of the control, or you call the IRibbonUI.InvalidateControl method.

ButtonClick

Occurs when a button in a RibbonGallery or RibbonDropDown is clicked.

SelectionChanged

Occurs when the selection in a RibbonDropDown or RibbonGallery changes.

DialogLauncherClick

Occurs when the dialog launcher icon in the lower-right corner of a group is clicked.

The event handlers for these events have the following two parameters.

Parameter

Description

sender

An Object that represents the control that raised the event.

e

A RibbonControlEventArgs that contains a Microsoft.Office.Core.IRibbonControl. Use this control to access any property that is not available in the Ribbon object model provided by the Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime.

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