How to increase the size of ribbons in OneNote?

If you use Office applications, you should know about ribbons. A ribbon is an area we use to access different tools and menus. While helpful, ribbons can be hard to navigate. After all, their content is pretty small, so you might want to consider changing that.

OneNote lacks native support for ribbon size scaling. Though you can still expand the ribbon or make your display resolution smaller, both solutions have cons. Below, I will explain both suggestions.

Increasing display resolution

  1. Hit the “Start” key
  2. Hover over the cog icon in the start menu
  3. Select “Settings”
  4. In settings, open the “System” category
  5. Open the “Display resolution” dropdown
  6. Find and select a higher resolution
  7. Confirm your choice

Un-collapsing/expanding the OneNote ribbon

  1. Open the OneNote desktop application
  2. Select a tab in your ribbon
  3. Click the pin icon on the bottom right of the ribbon
  4. (Alternatively) use “Ctrl+F1” to toggle the ribbon’s view

Ribbon customization exists in each Office app. But, this post is for Microsoft OneNote. Due to several users finding the ribbon to be far smaller than expected, it has become an interest. Yet, the topic isn’t so straightforward. Hence, there are four sections of this post to explore. If you need further support, please refer to the screenshots below each step. Otherwise, you can leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

As always, we have split the post into digestible segments. Though, we understand that you may not care about each one. If that’s the case, you use the links below to access relevant content without delay.

  1. Can you natively enlarge the OneNote ribbon
  2. How to lower your display resolution
  3. How to minimize the OneNote ribbon
  4. Blog post recap

Can you natively enlarge the OneNote ribbon?

Despite what you thought, OneNote lacks native support for changing your ribbon size. Of course, this isn’t a significant issue. There are still things you can do. Though, neither are perfect solutions.

What can I do?

Here’s what you can do:

  • If you’ve un-pinned your ribbon, it may appear smaller by default. Pin the ribbon to make it appear as it would in other applications.
  • If you’re unpleased with the default size of OneNote’s ribbon, consider lowering your display resolution

How to lower your display resolution to increase the ribbon size

You could make your ribbon larger by lowering your screen’s resolution. But, I doubt you will find this solution ideal. Akin to most solutions, there are pros and cons. The pro is that your OneNote ribbon will be larger. Yet, the con is that you’ll additionally impact everything on your screen. If you’re comfortable with this compromise, you can follow the guide below. The guide will teach you how to adjust your screen’s resolution via the settings application.

Step 1 — Open your settings application

Begin by launching the windows settings application. To do so, hit the “Start” key. Then, move the mouse toward the cog icon on the bottom left of the menu. In doing so, you will reveal the extra option’s names. As planned, find and select “Settings.”

Step 2 — Head to the system category of settings

On the settings page, you will find 13 setting categories. While each one is relevant to a different scenario, we don’t need to pay attention to each one. Find and select the “System” category.

Step 3 — Set a lower resolution on the display page

Fortunately, the first page is what we need— the display page. Under “Display resolution,” you should spot a dropdown on the page. Click on it to open it. Then, find and select a lower resolution of your choosing.

Step 4 — Confirm or revert your changes

Tweaking your screen’s resolution can solve your problem. But, on some displays, it could cause more harm than good. So when you adjust your display resolution, Windows will preview the effect. During the preview, you can keep or revert your change. If you’re happy with the change, select “Keep changes.” Otherwise, click “Revert.”

How to minimize the OneNote ribbon

If you don’t want to risk ruining your display setup, you may prefer native solutions. OneNote allows its users to minimize their ribbon by unpinning it. In doing so, they will find that the ribbon becomes less noticeable when out of use. Yet, it returns to its standard appearance when you attempt to use it again.

Step 1 — Open your OneNote desktop application

We need to open the application we’d like to work with: Microsoft OneNote. Getting that done is easy. First, hit the “Start” key. Then, type in “OneNote.” Finally, if you spot the app under “Best match,” tap the “Enter” key or give it a click.

Step 2 — Collapse the ribbon

Once you’ve opened OneNote, move the cursor toward the rightmost part of the ribbon. In the lower corner, you should spot a downward arrow icon. This button will allow you to collapse the ribbon. In the collapsed state, the ribbon will consume less screen space by hiding when out of use. But, it will retake space when you attempt to use it. If you would like to save time, you can toggle the collapsed state via the shortcut Ctrl+F1

Blog post recap

The Office ribbon is helpful, albeit cumbersome. Hence, you might find it’s in the way far too often. If you’d like to change that, my news will displease you. Unfortunately, there is no native support for such a feature. But, there are still ways we can work around this predicament. Take the ribbon’s collapse function, for instance. Or you could make all screen elements smaller via your display resolution.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope the posited solutions will suffice until Microsoft offers a native fix. I want to apologize for not providing a more convenient method at present. If you found the post helpful, please consider checking out the related posts below:

Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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