Beyond Excel: VBA and Database Manipulation

Sep 1 2014   8:36AM GMT

Dynamic Toolbar

Craig Hatmaker Craig Hatmaker Profile: Craig Hatmaker


Add a ribbon like interface to your Excel project quickly and easily with this free add-in.  And for developers, source code is included and open to inspect or modify.

Dynamic Toolbar Video

What is the Dynamic Toolbar?
The Dynamic Toolbar is a floating UserForm configured by entries in an XL table.  It looks and acts very much like the MS Office Ribbon interface but requires a fraction of the time, effort, and skill to produce.  If you need a Ribbon Interface your choices are Dynamic Toolbar or:

Paste Buttons on Worksheets
From Developer tab find Controls group and use Insert to paste a controls to the worksheet, add text, set some properties and assign a macro. It’s easy but takes up worksheet space and limits our user interface to one worksheet or we must replicate all controls to other worksheets. It looks less professional.

The Office Custom UI Editor
This free standalone application modifies any MS Office Ribbon. It uses existing MS Office icons. It looks very professional but requires ribbon configuration using XML in a separate application. We cannot use it to modify the Ribbon from within XL.

AJP’s RibbonX Visual Designer
Andy Pope’s add-in is free and provides a graphical editor. It is a welcome step up from editing XML directly.

Ribbon Commander
Spreadsheet1’s add-in is free for trial use.It does everything The Office Custom UI Editor does with VBA instead of XML and from within XL so our interface can change while our XL apps are running.  This is fantastic if you need the power and if you have the skills.

Dynamic Toolbar adds a customizable floating Ribbon-like interface for XL applications like PapaGantt’s toolbar shown above.  Dynamic Toolbar is by far the easiest to learn and use because we configure it using normal Excel tables instead of XML or VBA; and because it requires only a handful of properties.  It also shares Ribbon Commander’s ability to change the toolbar while our app is running (although, Dynamic Toolbar only works with Excel where as Ribbon Commander works with all MS Office apps).

Dynamic Toolbar cannot do all the MS Office Ribbon does and cannot tap directly into MS Office icons, but it does enough of what the MS Office Ribbon does; is easy to add custom icons to, and is instantly recognizable so users  know how to use it.  Best of all, it can be assembled with a fraction of the time, effort and skill of alternatives. It also happens to be a great way to learn about adding, placing and manipulating all kinds of controls on a UserForm through VBA.

Start by downloading the user’s guide (pdf). Download the PDF at:

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