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 VSTO add-in projects for the following applications: Excel; InfoPath 2013 and InfoPath 2010; Outlook; PowerPoint; Project; Visio; Word. 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:

EventDescription
RibbonBase.LoadRaised 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.LoadImageEnables 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.CloseRaised 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 nameClass name
BoxRibbonBox
ButtonRibbonButton
ButtonGroupRibbonButtonGroup
CheckBoxRibbonCheckBox
ComboBoxRibbonComboBox
DropDownRibbonDropDown
EditBoxRibbonEditBox
GalleryRibbonGallery
GroupRibbonGroup
LabelRibbonLabel
MenuRibbonMenu
SeparatorRibbonSeparator
SplitButtonRibbonSplitButton
TabRibbonTab
ToggleButtonRibbonToggleButton

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.

Common Tasks Using the Properties of Ribbon Controls

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.

Setting Properties in the Constructor of the Ribbon

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.

    <System.Diagnostics.DebuggerNonUserCode()> _
    Public Sub New()
        MyBase.New(Globals.Factory.GetRibbonFactory())

        'This call is required by the Component Designer.
        InitializeComponent()
        Dim MyButton As Microsoft.Office.Tools.Ribbon.RibbonButton = _
            Me.Factory.CreateRibbonButton()
        MyButton.Label = "New Button"
        If System.DateTime.Now.Hour > 16 Then
            Group1.Items.Add(MyButton)
        End If

    End Sub

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.

Setting Properties in the CreateRibbonExtensibilityObject Method

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 Overrides Function CreateRibbonExtensibilityObject() _
        As Microsoft.Office.Core.IRibbonExtensibility
        Dim myCondition As Boolean = True
        If myCondition = True Then
            Dim tempRibbon As 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
            Dim tempRibbon As 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})
        End If
    End Function

Properties That Become Read-Only

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

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note


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

PropertyRibbon control class
BoxStyleRibbonBox
ButtonTypeRibbonSplitButton
ColumnCountRibbonGallery
ControlIdRibbonTab
DialogLauncherRibbonGroup
DynamicRibbonMenu
GlobalOfficeRibbon
GroupsRibbonTab
ImageNameRibbonButton

 RibbonComboBox

 RibbonDialogLauncher

 RibbonDropDown

 RibbonEditBox

 RibbonGallery

 RibbonMenu

 RibbonSplitButton

 RibbonToggleButton
ItemSizeRibbonMenu

 RibbonSplitButton
MaxLengthRibbonComboBox

 RibbonEditBox
NameRibbonComponent
PositionRibbonButton

 RibbonCheckBox

 RibbonGallery

 RibbonGroup

 RibbonMenu

 RibbonSeparator

 RibbonSplitButton

 RibbonTab

 RibbonToggleButton
RibbonTypeOfficeRibbon
RowCountRibbonGallery
ShowItemImageRibbonComboBox

 RibbonDropDown

 RibbonGallery
ShowItemLabelRibbonDropDown

 RibbonGallery
ShowItemSelectionRibbonGallery
SizeStringRibbonComboBox

 RibbonDropDown

 RibbonEditBox
StartFromScratchOfficeRibbon
TabsOfficeRibbon
TitleRibbonSeparator

Setting Properties for Ribbons that Appear in Outlook Inspectors

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.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg 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.

EventDescription
ClickOccurs when a control is clicked.
TextChangedOccurs when the text of an edit box or combo box is changed.
ItemsLoadingOccurs 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 M:Microsoft.Office.Core.IRibbonUI.InvalidateControl(System.String) method.
ButtonClickOccurs when a button in a RibbonGallery or RibbonDropDown is clicked.
SelectionChangedOccurs when the selection in a RibbonDropDown or RibbonGallery changes.
DialogLauncherClickOccurs 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.

ParameterDescription
senderAn Object that represents the control that raised the event.
eA RibbonControlEventArgs that contains a T: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.

Accessing the Ribbon at Run Time
Ribbon Overview
How to: Get Started Customizing the Ribbon
Ribbon Designer
Walkthrough: Creating a Custom Tab by Using the Ribbon Designer
Walkthrough: Updating the Controls on a Ribbon at Run Time
Customizing a Ribbon for Outlook
How to: Customize a Built-in Tab
How to: Add Controls to the Backstage View
How to: Export a Ribbon from the Ribbon Designer to Ribbon XML
How to: Show Add-in User Interface Errors

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