Position a custom tab on the ribbon

You can specify where you want your add-in's custom tab to appear on the Office application's ribbon by using markup in the add-in's manifest.


This article assumes that you're familiar with the article Basic concepts for add-in commands. Please review it if you haven't done so recently.


  • The add-in feature and markup described in this article is only available in PowerPoint on the web.
  • The markup described in this article only works on platforms that support requirement set AddinCommands 1.3. See Behavior on unsupported platforms below.

Specify where you want a custom tab to appear by identifying which built-in Office tab you want it to be next to and specifying whether it should be on the left or right side of the built-in tab. Make these specifications by including either an InsertBefore (left) or an InsertAfter (right) element in the CustomTab element of your add-in's manifest. (You cannot have both elements.)

In the following example, the custom tab is configured to appear just after the Review tab. Note that the value of the <InsertAfter> element is the ID of the built-in Office tab.

<ExtensionPoint xsi:type="ContosoRibbonTab">
  <CustomTab id="Contoso.TabCustom2">
    <Group id="Contoso.TabCustom2.group2">
       <!-- additional markup omitted -->
    <Label resid="customTabLabel1" />

Keep the following points in mind.

  • The <InsertBefore> and <InsertAfter> elements are optional. If you use neither, then your custom tab will appear as the rightmost tab on the ribbon.
  • The <InsertBefore> and <InsertAfter> elements are mutually exclusive. You can't use both.
  • If the user installs more than one add-in whose custom tab is configured for the same place, say after the Review tab, then the tab for the most recently installed add-in will be located in that place. The tabs of the previously installed add-ins will be moved over one place. For example, the user installs add-ins A, B, and C in that order and all are configured to insert a tab after the Review tab, then the tabs will appear in this order: Review, AddinCTab, AddinBTab, AddinATab.
  • Users can customize the ribbon in the Office application. For example, a user can move or hide your add-in's tab. You cannot prevent this or detect that it has happened.
  • If a user moves one of the built-in tabs, then Office interprets the <InsertBefore> and <InsertAfter> elements in terms of the default location of the built-in tab. For example, if the user moves the Review tab to the right end of the ribbon, Office will interpret the markup in the previous example as meaning "put the custom tab just to the right of where the Review tab would be by default."

Specify which tab has focus when the document opens

Office always gives default focus to the tab that's immediately to the right of the File tab. By default this is the Home tab. If you configure your custom tab to be before the Home tab, with <InsertBefore>TabHome</InsertBefore>, then your custom tab will have focus when the document opens.


Giving excessive prominence to your add-in inconveniences and annoys users and administrators. Don't position a custom tab before the Home tab unless your add-in is the primary way users will interact with the document.

Behavior on unsupported platforms

If your add-in is installed on a platform that doesn't support requirement set AddinCommands 1.3, then the markup described in this article is ignored and your custom tab will appear as the rightmost tab on the ribbon. To prevent your add-in from being installed on platforms that don't support the markup, add a reference to the requirement set in the <Requirements> section of the manifest. For instructions, see Specify which Office versions and platforms can host your add-in. Alternatively, design your add-in to have an alternate experience when AddinCommands 1.3 isn't supported, as described in Design for alternate experiences. For example, if your add-in contains instructions that assume the custom tab is where you want it, you could have an alternate version that assumes the tab is the rightmost.