SharePoint Online Ribbon And Launcher (Tiles)

Today, I am writing about the basics of Ribbon in SharePoint online.

App Launcher - When we log in to the Office 365 page, first we used to get something called App launcher which showed us an image like this on the left side corner of the page. By clicking on this icon we could get all available App names and icons and we could open our desired apps from here.

As I said above we would find  the app launcher in the same top left-hand corner as in Office 365 and it would retrieve our apps from anywhere in SharePoint. In other words,  we could say App Launcher is a centralized menu allowing users to quickly launch applications, browse sites, and access personal files from a single panel.

To open the application using SharePoint App launcher is as easy as clicking on the App icon and it will open in another tab

See below screen shot for more details

Ribbon in SharePoint is a ribbon command interface. It is basically a toolbar that  is shown across the top of each page or site even for List and library as well. Top label element in the ribbon are called tabs which include lots of frequent use functionalities. Each  tab group consists of controls which we can use when working on pages or Lists.

So when we are opening any page, List or anything which comes under the SharePoint first we used to see the ribbon option at the first page.

Ribbon in SharePoint online or any other version of on-premises is made up of various modules like Tabs, Contextual tabs, Contextual groups, controls etc.

Let’s look at the screen shot of ribbon page for a team site,

Let's move to the next option available called Tabs - Tabs in Ribbon is a new way to navigate between the pages in SharePoint instead of using many options,  we can navigate to the tab page and can get the options. It gives you various functions that can customize our task which are present in the form of Custom Actions or ECB menus in Lists and Libraries. We can even work more with tab adding custom features using code or solutions. Just say for example - we have a List and we need to upload thousands of bits of data at one time, using custom code we can create solutions making it under the tab, by just clicking on that and assigning a path we can upload the data to SharePoint store folder.

We have multiple tabs available under the ribbon, which depend on site, page, list etc...

Below are the few of them,

  • Browse Tab
    This is a Tab to switch between a Page (current context Page) and the Site. This is generally used when you need to do  the navigation with your site's top navigation bar. See Below

  • Page Tab
    This Tab takes you into the current Page’s context.

  • Contextual Tabs
    These are the tabs, which appear when you select a specific context. For example a Library Tools tab will show up if you select something in Library. See below

  • Sub-Contextual Tabs
    These are the Tabs, which appear selected when you select a particular object or from the particular context which they are related to. For example, if we selected a document in a List or List view a web part the document sub-tab under the Library Tools will appear.

  • Group
    Groups in SharePoint Ribbon are the Containers of various Controls that show up on the Ribbon. We can add our own group in existing or new custom tabs using the Custom Action SharePoint feature using code or manual. See below screen shot for Manage, Actions, Share & Track are Groups

  • Controls
    These are features of SharePoint, which we can represent at the top of the page or list, library.

We have some of the below listed controls and we cannot inherit and create our own controls to use in the Ribbon. This is used by dev departments.

You may be aware of the below listed controls which are used everywhere in the computer world.

  • Button - A simple button used to perform an action.
  • Checkbox - A check box used to select an option.
  • Colour Picker - A grid used to select a color or style.
  • Combo Box - A list used to select a value by clicking or typing.
  • Drop Down - A list used to select a value by clicking.
  • Fly out Anchor - A button with a down arrow used to open a menu.
  • Insert Table - A 10-by-10 grid used to specify the dimensions of a table.
  • Label - A line of text used to provide information.
  • Menu - A container used to show pop-up menus.
  • Menu Section - A section used to divide a menu. A menu section can have a title and contain controls.
  • MRU Split Button - A button used to execute a recently used menu action. This control uses the last action chosen from its submenu as the button action.
  • Spinner - A control used to insert a value by typing or using the arrow keys to cycle through the values.
  • Split Button - A control used as both a button and a menu.
  • Text Box - A control used to enter text.
  • Toggle Button - A button used to toggle between an on and off state.

As we have discussed above, there will be various types of ribbon views, tabs and controls for each  site, page, site collection, List, Library, calendar etc…

With a new look and experience with MS office 365 we will have different views as well which I have explained in my last article -

If we will go with the application available for office 365, we can get another option for ribbon and tab page -