Our application has several "disciplines" for which there are various commands grouped as tabs in a ribbon.

Is it acceptable to automatically change the context of the main window, i.e, what is being displayed to the user, by switching tabs in the ribbon?

Is this an abuse of the ribbon?

Microsoft do not have anything to say on the matter.

  • Do you have any visuals you can provide to illustrate or support your question more?
    – UIO
    Jul 10, 2018 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


You should test this with users. But here my thoughts:

The ribbon is used interact or apply functions to the object in the main window. This is learned behaviour. By switching the ribbon group users probably do not expect that the main window content changes. With no further information of your current issue, I would recommend doing the following:

Integrate a ribbon group "View" or place a view-switch in the main ribbongroup. This switch would change the context of the main window. By changing the main window context you could display more/different ribbon groups according to the new context. This way the context triggers the ribbon an not the other way around.

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